id Software wanted to pay modders in 1995

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Did you hear about Steam introducing paid-for mods as an option, ostensibly to get money into the hands of people creating (sometimes) incredible extra content? Yeah, it didn't work out too well for Valve — at least not first time around.

But in an interview with, co-creator of modding golden child Doom, John Romero, revealed id Software actually wanted to pay modders for their work on Quake back in the mid-90s.

"I've always believed that mod makers should be able to make money from their creations," Romero told the site, going on to explain the studio had the idea to create something called id Net. "This company would be the portal that players would connect to and play other mod maker's creations," he explained, "It was to be a curated site, levels and mods chosen by us at id, and if we put your content on our network we would pay you an amount equal to the traffic that your content drove to the site.

"The idea was that players would log in and be in a big level that felt like a castle with lots of doorway portals and signage that explained where you were going and what was there."

Ultimately the idea was dropped, as the famously tough development schedule for Quake required everyone to focus on making the game before doing anything else. The rest, of course, is history.

But Romero did go on to say that he believed modders should still be rewarded for their work: "That's what we do in our game companies, why would it be so different for outsiders?"


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