Nexus Mods is arguably the largest mod site in the world, and one that we constantly write stories about when we find one that's just too good not to share. A lot of work goes into modding in-game content, and it can be a very time consuming process. Because of that, compensation desires is understandable - though it has led to disaster in the past. When Steam tried to implement Paid Mods back in 2015, there was an instant backlash - because of this, Nexus Mods is taking a slightly different approach for content creators to earn for their hard work without limiting accessibility.
This isn't a paid mod change, and Nexus Mods founder Robin "DarkOne" Scott has made that abundantly clear. This new donation system is completely voluntary, a way that those enjoying this content can say their thanks to the authors with either monotary compensation, or other similar rewards. At the end of the day though, the mods will remain free.
This is what Nexus Mods had to say in their official statement for their 2018 goals:
"We are working on a Donation Points system on Nexus Mods that mod authors will be able to accumulate, through unique file page downloads, that can then be redeemed for rewards through a storefront style system.
Let me cut to the chase and clarify right now that this system definitely isn't going to let any mod author quit their day job. However, it should fulfill that original wish many mod authors have expressed for years now of wanting at least a little something tangible back from their modding hobby, even if it's just some recognition and a couple of free coffees/beers each month to keep them topped up while they're working on their mods.
On a personal level, I've been wanting to find a way to personally donate to mod authors past the occasional donation I throw out to mod authors whose mods I use, from Nexus Mods to you, for a long time now, and this seems like the best way of going about doing that in as fair a way as possible.
At the end of the day, this is going to be a way for Nexus Mods, and the users of Nexus Mods, to donate to and thank all the mod authors on Nexus Mods collectively."
HOW DOES IT WORK?
"As a gift, every month we at Nexus Mods will donate a variable amount (expected to be between $5,000 - $10,000 at our discretion) into a central donation pool. This is the base level of contribution, the minimum total pool amount each month from which the Donation Points will be calculated.
When paid modding was first announced for Steam Workshop, lots of users bemoaned the fact that they'd like to see a stronger donation system put in place for mod authors. To that end, we are also working on enabling users of Nexus Mods to contribute into this monthly pool, so that any and all users of Nexus Mods can choose to donate into the total pool for that month if they so wish. Essentially, crowd-funded mod author donations. We'll provide a page on the site where you can see how high the donation pool is for that month, split between what we at Nexus Mods have put in, and what the entire community has put in and we'll probably gamify this a little and let users who donate opt-in to a leaderboard style system that lists how much they've donated and so on.
Donation Points (DP) will have a monetary value attached to them which, at time of writing works out at 1,000 DP being worth $1 USD. This will remain a constant and will not fluctuate or change.
At the end of the month, the total donation money pool will be converted into its DP equivalent. For example, a total donation money pool of $10,000 is the equivalent of 10,000,000 DP. A script will then sum up the total unique downloads that each file page has received in that month, from mod authors who have opted into this scheme, and divide the total available DP amount by the total unique download amount for that month. For example, if the total donation money pool is $10,000 (which is 10,000,000 DP) and the total unique download count is 5,000,000 then that means each unique download would be worth 2 DP. Ergo, a mod author who receives 25,000 unique downloads that month will receive 50,000 DP, which is the equivalent of $50 to redeem in our redemption storefront.
This system is completely opt-in and as such, it's impossible for us to currently calculate how many DP you'll receive per unique download. We can calculate the bare minimum based on a theoretical situation in which every single mod author on the site has opted in all their files, but that would not be a fair approximation. The number will fluctuate from month to month based on the available donation pool as well as what files have been opted into the system.
The metric we are using is the unique download count for a user's mod pages as a whole. Note that this is different from the unique download counts for the individual files you can download from a mod page. For example, if you have 14 files available to download on a single mod page and a user downloads each of those files, your unique download counter is increased by 1, and not 14. I understand this is going to be contentious for some people, especially in regards to big mods that already have a multitude of unique downloads within the community, but unfortunately there are restrictions with our stat tracking that will not enable us to, for example, count all downloads from the start of this scheme as having been reset and "unique" from that point on."
To learn more about the system, how to opt-in, what other rewards are offered, and more, you can check out their official outline of the entire donation system right here.