In case you hadn't heard, the business of creating content for games you didn't make is booming . People are quitting their regular jobs because building Team Fortress 2 robot skins—along with the hats for said robots—is more profitable. The whole thing seems to be working , and now Valve wants to ensure everyone gets their fair share.
“Creating high quality content for games is rarely a solo endeavor,” Valve said in a statement . "Along the way, item creators often make use of specialized tools and receive help, guidance, and feedback from various communities and individuals. We've heard from a number of item creators that are looking for a formal way of recognizing and rewarding the toolmakers and service providers that have helped them.”
Anyone who's bought from the Humble Bundle will understand how the new tool works. Creators get a pre-approved list of companies and individuals to divvy up a part of their earnings between to show support. All the money comes from Valve's take, meaning item creators won't have to cut into their own profits.
As of now, creators can only make money from the TF2 and DOTA 2 workshops, but who's to say that won't change? If community development makes millions of dollars for Valve, it's not hard to see third parties following suit.