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Modding is one of the companies that believe it has evolved into mainstream, and it has 300 million downloads to prove it. This is because the Victoria, Australia-based company believes that big game publishers are willing to embrace modding in a much larger way, and that was one reason the company raised $26 million in November.
Other modding companies like Mod.io have expressed their support for $127.5 million. And then of course, Roblox, the user-generated content platform that is a leading contender for the metaverse, and has a $25 billion market value.
Scott Reismanis, the CEO of Mod.io after two decades of watching games and modders, believes modding will be gaming's next big thing.
"The strategic reason why studios should be considering modding is because it a way to build a community that allows them to move more rapidly, and to expand their business in a much greater way." "It has always been challenging, regardless of whether it's on ModDB, Nexus modes, or other websites. But that's exactly where I think it's changing."
Six mods were downloaded every second during 2021 on Mod.io. Last year, the company saw a half-million increase in mods created, and a 250% increase in mods downloaded by players. In SnowRunner, players downloaded more than 100 million mods.
The company has improved its community capabilities and will soon launch the next stage of its user-generated content platform, which will allow studios to deepen their interactions with mods and UGC. Young people may utilize mods to dive into the gaming industry.
"For students who are thinking about this, whether they've already been involved in a community, or not, I think it's an opportunity," says the spokesman.
Mods and UGC are so a part of the development of the gaming industry that studios overlooking their potential might be missing out on huge income streams, according to Reismanis.
Roblox is fantastic because they helped a lot of people understand how large user-generated content can be if done well, he said. And for us, they're part inspiration. We believe that Roblox is the ultimate sandbox that is greater than everything. But we're going to see all these kinds of vertical creation communities popping up that enable creation for those who want to play a really amazing first person shooter mod.
"The time has come, and it probably took until Roblox to go public for it to become a mainstream conversation." It's historically been around for decades, and obviously Counter-Strike and Dota and PUBG are all part of the most innovative new genres that came from the scene."
Through his creation of ModDB.com and Mod.io, Reismanis expects that $1 in every $10 spent on video games will be on UGC by 2025, doubling the amount of expected expenditure, thus that user content will be responsible for up to $25 billion worldwide by 2025.
With the creation of Mod.io in 2017, Reismanis created over 100 games on PC, console, and mobile.
"UGC gives players both control and opportunity; by nature, it's] a play that is more dynamic and engaging than a game without creation capabilities," he added. "When a feature like this flourishes, especially one that allows limitless potential from its studio team as well as those who play, entirely new worlds and gameplay mechanisms start to emerge, opening the door for new opportunities for studios to engage with fans."
How the hub works
Mod.io's game hubs connect players with official mods that are delivered through the hub. Talented mod creators upload their content to the hubs, and the content is curated for quality, then delivered to players across games on the PC, consoles, virtual reality, and mobile.
"Modding has historically been something that was once usable in post-launch." He said. Both Mod.io games, like SnowRunner and Skater XL, have extensive mod integrations. Mod creators create their mods and upload their creations to a central game page, which doubles as a hub for new and popular mods.
The goal is always to work with games, across the game, doing lots of different tasks, he said. There are new maps for shooters. Mods may be a new level design or cosmetic to show off RPGs. It's not one particular genre.
Mods can be searched by a filter, according to creator, content type, and rating. Mod content is uploaded and shared in seconds, and then curated for brand safety and compliance by Mod.io. Players may subscribe to mods for certain games and receive notification when new mods occur.
We believe that modding and the new strain of content in games are the best type of content. So, making that accessible and powerful for players and studios to tap into and then aligning and connecting that all in to their business models is really where the future is.
Mod.io has around a dozen triple-A games in the works. The company has 36 employees. They aren't making mods, but they are collaborating on a framework that will allow studios and players to operate the hub. Fans may vote them up.
Our goal is to make it super accessible, polished, and very presentable, said a man. We do this by delivering plugins, free media, metrics, discovery, community collaboration and communication, comments, ratings, and subscriptions, all of the moderation and safety elements. To maintain it brand-compliant, we strive to make it more effective.
Mods are available at the moment, from first-person shooters to vehicle simulations, with a range of cartoonish art to ultra realistic. Many PC games have used mods for a long time.
"But making it more accessible signifies that more casual games that appeal to a wide range of people is ultimately where we want to get to, and mobile is almost a greenfield," Reismanis said.
Its always been difficult, said the author. Studios have no real insight, visibility, or control or access to their community, because its always outside of them, whether it be on ModDB, Nexus modes, or other websites. Thats exactly where I think its changing.
Balanced creativity and takedowns
Modio has the capability to monitor DMCA takedown requests.
There are 1.5 million pieces of content on our system, and the reporting tools that we run and require studios to run help manage that very in a very streamlined way. However, the best way to strengthen and encourage positive behaviors by creator events and recommendation algorithms is to naturally show 99.99% of traders as doing it for love and passion.
Mod.io promotes positive behavior by having the highest content surface to the top, as well as by providing incentives for it.
"There are sometimes stories that stimulate attention, and it's really in the way of everything that's been made, and what's actually happening," Reismanis said. "It's a very small percentage as this process is in place to manage it."
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