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What is up with the rise in NSFW modding & paywalls?

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The gaming industry is becoming more and more of a pay to play model. Modders are taking pre-order payments for their creations, which can sometimes come with an NDA of its own before the mod is released. Paywalls have also been on the rise in recent years, where people who want access to premium content need to spend money on subscriptions or purchases.

The article’s substance

This is an interesting issue that I’ve been meaning to address on a more serious level. My efforts to go into it in other gaming subs didn’t go so well, but I decided I’d give it another shot. truegaming - What is up with the rise in NSFW modding & paywalls?

For this kind of conversation, r/truegaming is definitely the best place to go. Long post that comes out as more of a rant…


BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

I first became interested in modding when I was a youngster, owing to The Sims 2. At the time, I was also playing a lot of old games with a lot of custom material (the Tomb Raider trilogy and Star Wars: Jedi Academy for example).

I understand that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim effectively established the modding community as a popular activity. It features one of the largest modding scenes out there, with a massive quantity of material contributed throughout time by its devoted following. However, the game rapidly earned a “meme” reputation for having too many crazy NSFW modifications, as well as strange monetization problems and practices. For some reason, I always assumed this was largely about Skyrim.

I pretty much stopped looking at mods once I stopped becoming interested with The Sims games and began to focus more on MMOs. Final Fantasy XIV, Monster Hunter: World, and SOULCALIBUR VI have all altered that in the last two years.

I’m not sure whether this is relevant, but I’ve also worked on a couple modding projects of my own (mostly related to sound).


THE PROBLEM:

Now that I’ve had a chance to go further into these types of communities, communicate with other gamers and modders, and see how these things are received outside of the normal bubbles… In terms of modifications, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is just much too much NSFW stuff and unethical monetization tactics out there currently.

  • SOULCALIBUR VI is the first game in the series to be released on the PC platform. The game had seen its fair share of mods and hacks for emulators and jailbroken consoles (mostly for the PS3) as a franchise that had been around since the 1990s, but a PC release (especially since the game was developed in Unreal Engine 4) meant that there was plenty of potential stored for the game.
    • The most popular and downloaded modifications three years after the game’s debut are… you guessed it, naked mods. Any genuine efforts to be more inventive with the game were met with a lackluster response from the community.
    • Despite falling player numbers over time, the great bulk of the modding community (which includes what might be “arguably” illegal copies of official NAMCO assets from earlier games) was dispersed and pushed behind various Patreon paywalls and exclusive clauses.
    • Despite the fact that there are tools that enable users to build their own original material for the game (without needing to change current resources), obscene content has received a lot of attention (with plenty of focus being put into two underage characters known as “Amy” and “Talim”).
  • Monster Hunter: Globe is a game that has taken the world by storm. It is CAPCOM’s best-selling game of all time.
    • This game has a lot of modifications, however the great majority of them are fast being changed into exaggerated “huge booba” stuff. A Nexus modifications page for the game has sometimes been littered with exclusively NSFW stuff.
    • Someone may spend months developing a brand-new weapon design, just to have it topped by a dick mod for one of the animals the player is supposed to be battling in terms of downloads/upvotes/comments.
    • There’s also a sense of “elitism” in the neighborhood. There is no desire to keep churning out material unless individuals are ready to pay exorbitant charges (which many do end up being private).
  • Final Fantasy XIV has one of the most active MMO modding communities. However, it’s pretty much all porn now; to the point that ordinary PvE/PVP/Console players have expressed strong disgust for people who engage in such behavior, and there have been genuine manhunts within the Japanese community.
    • Within the NSFW modding community, there’s a lot of conflict, with modders purposely withholding material in an atmosphere where demand is high and supply is limited (which means they can charge ridiculous amounts of money for the smallest of things).
  • The Sims 4 has continued the history of modifications being one of the most popular “features” of the game. Many gamers depend on modifications to have a good experience while playing the game. Since 2004, the NSFW moderators have been kept out of the public eye and in their own secret zone (especially when you consider that the series are aimed at a younger audience).
    • EA had to come out and denounce a popular NSFW mod that was impacting baby and kid models because of the uproar around TS4.
  • Many subs and articles have surfaced criticizing Skyrim’s modding community’s fixation with “oversexualizing” women to extremes.
    • It’s worth noting that the Skyrim modding community has a history of discriminating against LGBT people (at least when it comes to male-focused work), to the point where there has been a lot of turmoil concerning these types of producers.
  • I decided to do an experiment and looked through maybe a dozen or so different games in my Steam library (from rather old to somewhat recent titles). Even when a game had little in the way of tweaks, the consequences were largely the same: primarily filthy stuff.

TO CONCLUDE:

What I’m getting at is…

What’s the deal with the NSFW material craze? Why has it become more of a standard throughout time, and why does it have such a high level of appeal when compared to other types of content? Despite how rare it is, why are male-focused mods such an easy target for drama (with some of the largest cases of authors nuking whole galleries worth of content)?

Why are modifications now so extensively monetized? I realize that modding is a difficult task that requires a lot of energy and time, but it’s such a refreshing change from how the modding community operated a decade ago.

Original source: link


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