Monday February 27, 2017

Ark: Survival Evolved Developer Announces $4,000 a Month Stipend for Modders

Studio Wildcard, developer of the runaway success dinosaur game Ark: Survival Evolved, has announced that they will be financing fifteen groups of modders to complete a mod for Ark. They will be paying each group $4,000 a month to complete their Ark mod with the understanding that each completed mod will become paid DLC. Each month the mod team's work will be evaluated and some might be dropped in favor of another mod. Some months the number of teams supported might rise depending on the number of high quality mods that Studio Wildcard feels has the potential for being paid DLC.

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There have already been issues with paid mods in Ark. DMCA take down requests have already been filed against competing Pokemon mods. One mod that was scheduled to become paid DLC was removed because it used the animations from another mod without permission. One modder that joined the Studio Wildcard team will make the final decision over which mod makes it into the program. There might be a public voting system instituted later on. All assets from a mod are required to be uploaded to the development team so that if a future patch breaks it, and the mod creation team refuses to fix it, someone from the Studio Wildcard team will work on getting it back running. Pretty cool stuff! I like this much better than the Steam wild, wild, west method of curating paid mods.

"Really," said Stieglitz of the sponsored mod program, "this speaks more generally to something that I think is kind of lacking in the industry which is a midway point between hobbyist modders, who are just really dabbling, and professional game developers."