Today Bethesda posted a weak defense of its highly controversial (and much discussed) new policy to sell user-made Skyrim mods, which the company then hastily reversed in an update to the same post. Even with the reversal, however, the whole ridiculous imbroglio sets a horrible precedent for user-made content in open world games from major publishers, because this single line from the company is now part of that precedent. It is so misguided, so ignorant, so greedy in the short term at the expense of long-term benefit, it needs to be laid out and shot full of arrows to the knee.
It came out in regard to Bethesda and Valve taking 75% of user-made mod sales to the mod developer's pitiful 25% cut:
The percentage conversation is about assigning value in a business relationship. How do we value an open IP license? The active player base and built in audience? The extra years making the game open and developing tools? The original game that gets modded? Even now, at 25% and early sales data, we’re looking at some modders making more money than the studio members whose content is being edited.
Emphasis mine, because the utter WTF-nesss of this line bears emphasis. Because it suggests that Bethesda looked at its sales data, noticed the runaway financial success of its most talented, dedicated grassroots developer fans... and decided that was a bad thing.
I'm not even finished with how bad this is: