You may not be aware that mod.io was originally created by DBolical Pty Ltd, the same company that owns and operates ModDB.com and IndieDB.com. While each of these sites have a shared common goal of helping game developers succeed by enabling the creativity of their players, they operate quite differently. ModDB.com and IndieDB.com are generally speaking ad based businesses. Anyone can submit games, mods, files, screenshots, articles and other content to these sites, and we are able to host this content by showing advertisements. mod.io on the other hand, runs no ads or marketing of any kind, it instead offers a free service to game developers in the form of an API, SDK and plugins, that they can use to manage a users mod collection in-game.
How do we fund mod.io
From a functionality standpoint both sites host games and mods, but mod.io specializes in providing a fully integrated solution that powers one-click mod installs automatically behind the scenes in games, without the need for their users to visit a website or install an application to get mods. The business model of mod.io is quite different as a result, which leads to the common question we get asked "it seems too good to be true, how do you make money". The answer to this is two fold. Firstly, mod.io as a product is designed to highly adaptable - which allows large studios to licence the technology to run their modding community. These studios want a private solution that incorporates their login and payment flows, and works everywhere their games are distributed. Rather than build and maintain such a complicated system themselves, they pay us to use a custom version of mod.io to power their mod community.
For smaller studios or studios that want to participate in a shared ecosystem of creators and content, they can use the free mod.io platform you are on now (submit your game here). We believe that mods are going to play a huge role in the future of gaming, which is focusing more than ever on long-term player engagement and satisfaction. In this scenario the need for original and creative content becomes increasingly important, and we'd like to help facilitate this growth by creating a patronage like system for mod creators, that benefits us, the studio, the players and of course the mod creators. Twitch, Youtube and other services built around user-generated content have done this incredibly well, and with time we intend to implement this functionality and open up this potential to modders.
Why incorporate mod.io as an independent entity
With the above explained differences in mind, it became clear to us that for mod.io, ModDB.com and IndieDB.com to grow and succeed solving different problems with different objectives, mod.io needs to be split out and incorporated into its own business. This will allow the mod.io team to focus on building better and more open tools to grow a larger mod ecosystem and to work with games on a case by case basis. It will allow the ModDB.com and IndieDB.com team to focus on enabling the sharing of content, and working with marketers to fund that community.
Apart from this change it's business as usual, ModDB.com and IndieDB.com will continue to promote the use of mod.io as an open alternative to Workshop for game developers who want to bring their mod community to GOG, Epic Games Store, Discord and even consoles. We look forward to the future - and making sure smart decisions like this are made early so it is possible for us to see out our grand plan over the coming years. Thanks for joining us on the journey so far, your early support is greatly appreciated, we know we've got a lot of work to do!