Why Start A Blog? Why Vacate Nexus?
I'm sure that there are many questions regarding my recent divorce from Nexus. So I will do my best to explain.
When I first heard about the new collections feature that Nexus was coming out with, I was actually really excited. This would be a tool that could help new users easily plug and play entire mod lists in order to spend less time cultivating and more time playing. Dope. Cool. Sick. I'm down for it. I however was taken aback by the implementation of a new terms of service that came with this new feature. Not only, was there going to be a new terms of service, but we were already thrust into the new rules, without being given the option to opt out ahead of time with a "get with the program or get out" attitude.
My biggest issue with the new collections feature is that Nexus has shifted ownership / control of the content uploaded into their website to themselves and has left the creators unable to truly delete their mods should they decide that they need to for whatever reason.
But Ami, why does that matter?! You made these mods for the people. Why do you care if your mods are up indefiitely or not?!
First of all, I made my mods for me. These were made out of love for the game, and for me to truly make my game my own by way of creating my own space inside the game. I published them for others to enjoy instead of keeping them to myself.
Secondly, I have a problem because the people at Nexus did this as a means to make money off content that they did not create. And while, yes, they technically already were making money off hosting mods by the way of premium memberships, they stood to make a much LARGER amount of money off these collections. Let's get into why.
I think they could have allowed for mod authors to opt in which files we would want to be included in collections, or they could have done a mandatory opt-in, with a way to manually opt out which files we didn't want opted in instead of them just saying this is how it is, and they wouldn't have pissed off nearly as many people as they did... But they didn't. Instead, they mandatorily opted us all in, and told us in order to opt out, we'd have to request to delete all of our files as mod authors and lose all mod author privileges by doing so...
They did so because they knew that by making it optional, their feature could flop... Maybe not many people would end up using it because they knew that many mod authors would rather maintain control over what happens to their content. So they made this scheme and dropped this bomb on us. "Give us your content, or delete them all and we will revoke your mod author privileges!" Granted, this has since changed from a "delete all or nothing" to being able to choose which files to delete and which files to keep in the system, however, it does not change the fact that they had no intentions of having this conversation with us from the beginning, and only did so after huge backlash to prevent a mass exodus of mod authors from their site.
Back to why this could make them so much money: They know that humans, particularly humans with limited amount of time to spend on their pass times such as gaming, will likely pick the easier option, the better option, the FASTER option etc... I didn't ever buy premium because I didn't care about spending hours and days and weeks cultivating my own mod lists and doing the research and testing to make sure it all played nicely together... But I'm also chronically under/unemployed and have nothing better to do with my time. Someone else who has less time might not want to wait several hours for a collections list to download due to the download speed cap, so they might just go ahead and pay for that premium membership. The only real way to prevent this feature from flopping or not making them the money they are wanting to get out of it, was to make it somehow so that they shift ownership of the content to themselves to prevent any mod author from destroying a whole list by deleting their mod. And that, my friends, is complete horse doo doo.
Well it sounds like you're just mad you're not getting a piece of the pie!
Actually, no. I never thought my mods were all that popular because most of them only use vanilla assets. (I do this on purpose so that I can share with my friends on console and their files won't be super huge, and so that I can share with PS4 users as well.) And let's be frank. I'm a baby mod author with TONS to learn. I couldn't care less if this new feature gave me less donation points or endorsements or comments on my mods (which supposedly with the collections feature, they will still give you donation points, and you could actually end up making you more according to Nexus). I really honestly, couldn't care less about that. What I'm primarily concerned about is the fact that a new terms of service was thrust upon me without giving me the option to opt out ahead of time and move my stuff, and then having to FORMALLY REQUEST my files be deleted like my files already belonged to them.
But, Ami! By making Skyrim mod content, you're already subjecting yourself to a similar terms of service that Bethesda made you agree to! How is that any different?
Correct. I consented to Bethesda's TOS by making mods. I don't consent to another entity trying to control my content as well. I guess my point is, they're not Bethesda. If Bethesda contacted me and said cease and desist, I would. If they contacted me and said "We are going to use your idea / file / character and we aren't going to pay you for it" I would be mad, but I'd let it go because I consented to that when I started making mods. Mods depend on the base game. It makes sense that Bethesda has a stake in the content that everyone makes because of the fact that all of the mod content requires their content to work. Nexus however is different. They didn't create the base game, nor should they control the content. They're simply hosting the files. They changed the rules and people are upset, understandably so.
So what's next for you? Are you done with Nexus for good?
I'm keeping my Nexus account. I'll still be available there to contact via their private message system, and I'll likely still download mods from there because there are a lot of great mods hosted there. However, I will likely not be uploading any new content there at any point in the future, even if they clean this mess up. You'll be able to find me here, in my new discord server (on discord via private message), and in some of the other spots that I linked in the links section.