Last month, Valve and Bethesda pissed a lot of people off with plans to charge for mods. One of the reasons both companies gave for the move was so that mod creators could get paid; a novel idea, but not a new one, since iD Software had been planning something similar twenty years ago.
In an interview with GI.biz, id co-founder John Romero says that in 1995, id had plants to create something called "id Net", which would "be the portal that players would connect to and play other mod maker's creations".
So far so Valve/Bethesda, but where id's plan differed was in how it was all paid for. Rather than having consumers pay for the mods, id's plan involved paying the modders directly for the traffic they generated towards the portal site.
That's a big difference, and one that would have made a huge difference to the perception surrounding the Skyrim debacle.
Of course, that's assuming that paying modders was Valve and Bethesda's primary goal and not, you know, the fact they were splitting 75 per cent of the profits between them...