The Steam Workshop has long been the place where enterprising mod creators can make their fan-made content easily available on Steam. These have included new costumes, weapons, gameplay patches and levels. Now, that process will change somewhat, with Valve stepping in to personally moderate content submitted to the Steam Workshop.
The change in how the Steam Workshop works was reported by TanookiSuit3 on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sub-reddit. Now, when a new mod is submitted onto the store, users will need to wait for moderator approval from Valve before the mod is visible to users.
Valve has elaborated on the new development in a blog post. The post states that “If you are submitting an item to the workshop for the first time, you’ll need to verify the submission via email.”
“After you’ve successfully verified your submission, Valve moderation staff needs to approve the item before it becomes publicly visible. Both of these steps are designed to prevent scams and account theft in the Steam Workshop”.
Similar to Valve’s scrapping of the Steam Greenlight process, this vetting of the Steam Workshop seems to be a tactic to stop people elevating bad content through spam-bots and scams. The CS: GO community in particular has a history of quality content getting drowned out by spam on the platform.
This new vetting process will also effect updates to existing mods. Fortunately, players can still download and enjoy existing mods while updates are being moderated by Steam.
Admittedly, what users see on the Steam Workshop, and what gets elevated to the front of the store, is still a mostly automated process. It is also unknown exactly how the moderating process is undertaken, or who does the moderating.
Overall, this is probably a positive development. If Steam has a major problem, it’s a lack of direct moderation of content. Relying on algorithms is all well and good, but if it means that anyone can submit content, the good stuff is going to get crowded out by trolls and spam.
There are many amazing mods out there, and the Steam Workshop makes downloading and installing them a breeze. Anything that can weed out the dodgy weapon skins and trolling content is a good idea to me.