After an aborted attempt to introduce paid mods last year with Bethesda's Skyrim, Valve is once again dipping its toe into the water of paid user-generated content with custom games in free-to-play behemoth Dota 2.
Valve revamped the way custom games work with Dota 2 when the game's Reborn client launched last summer, allowing creators to more easily share and surface their custom gametypes. Valve also added prominent promotion for popular variants, leading to something of a resurgence of interest. And today, the developer announced that specifically chosen makers of custom games will be allowed to sell premium Custom Game Passes, adding a monetization model for mod makers to Steam once again.
In an FAQ, Valve clarified some key points for the initiative. First, Custom Game Passes will be offered for games as curated by Valve, creating a key screening process for the program.
"We will be carefully selecting which custom games are able to offer a Custom Game Pass," according to the FAQ, "selecting only games which have already established a sizable community and are mature enough to offer good value to customers." Custom Game Passes will only be available in 30-day increments, and will not be available as subscriptions.
According to Valve, the Custom Game Pass program is being introduced so that "hard-working developers could be directly rewarded for their work, while also encouraging the continued development of enduring custom games and vibrant communities."
You can find more information about Custom Game Passes at Valve's FAQ page.