Is Modding considered User Generated Content?

Market with Mods or not?

October 14, 2021 / by Joshua Goodpastor

With the advent of modern computers and the accessibility of game building software modding has quickly become a common topic among the online gaming community. Mods offer a chance for users to add their own spark of creativity into the game environment. While some mods are more “meme” based in content, others can expand and evolve gameplay into new worlds and options. 

User-Generated Content and Marketing

For marketing professionals, user generating content is super profitable to invest in. By pushing user-generated content it shows fan appreciation for your product while also validating the talents of a community member. Further, it cost companies very little to use and promote it making it an easy advertising angle for almost every industry. 

This makes it important for marketing professionals to market the right user content. In regards to modding, there is a mix between opportunity and risk. Modding tends to bypass most copyright options, and if a company promotes the wrong item they could accidentally pushing copyrighted material. Further, mods are normally labeled by the user and in some communities, mod have become complex enough to warrant their own games. DayZ, Unturned, and many other titles were born from mods generated from the assets of other games. 

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Defining Mods

Content created from scratch does not fit the definition of modding. Modding is to either augment, add to, or remove in-game elements with the effect of changing the game. While some mods can make the quality of life changes, others swap out assets within the game files. Depending on the mod, some of these changes are designed based on already existing files. User-created objects, already existing files, and all company-owned assets, in this case, would be defined as user-generated content.

Profit off Fans

However, previous attempts to take advantage of these modding opportunities to gain profit have been met with mixed results. The Bethesda Creation Club is a great example of this as some users did purchase mods for their games. However, with the profit margin that Bethesda asked for within the store many modders sought out other places to publish their work. Mods are, in general, created for the dedication of the game and the improvement of the game experience. While some “meme” mods may make fun of topics, others take hours to tweak and improve making it hard work on the modder side of the equation. This makes profiting off of modded work more taboo among the game's community.

So are they UGC?

The answer is: Yes, most of the time. When evaluating whether or not a modded piece of content is considered UGC for marketing campaign endeavors, professionals need to ensure that all assets are owned by the developers. That, or, gain the rights to use the modder’s asset bundles in exchange for highlighting their work. Depending on the implications of the modded content and the spreadability of the mod, a marketing team can find great success and great failure when marketing modded user content.

Content Creators submit a variety of clips and content to Lurkit inside of a hosted campaign. While most of these clips may contain core assets, modding is a common practice among many game communities. With Lurkit helping to foster the relationship between Content Creators and game developers, it is important that we help break down what content can be used and what content may need to be investigated deeper before being added to your marketing endeavor.

Tags: Game development, Gaming

Joshua Goodpastor

Written by Joshua Goodpastor

Lurkit's Social Media Manager, Joshua has a wide range of knowledge spanning multiple sectors of the gaming industry. Previously a freelance writer, content creation and leveraging influencer-based interactions is a focus of his career.