Or perhaps not, but you certainly got a good chunk of change! At Valve’s Dev Days conference, the company revealed just how much, and how far, their community creators have come in just three short years.
More than US$10 million dollars has been paid out to community creators—the people who render and then try to get Valve to put in their stuff into games such as Hat Simulator Team Fortress 2 and DOTA 2—last year. That math works out to about $15,000 per-person on average. Generally, that should be enough to get most people by.
While not everyone is naturally going to get that kind of cash—The Verge’s interview with Valve Head Honco Gabe Newell has Gabe quoted as saying some Steam Workshop creators are earning big bucks, but probably not all of them—it does make for a compelling argument on “If you build it they will come”. And buy hats. Many, many hats.
If anything, the numbers seem to bear out that Valve’s big gamble on giving money to creators to actively generate content for their games is paying off in spades. Team Fortress 2, after all, is a six-year-old game now and was the first ever game to begin the offering. Now, said Valve, some 90% of their items come from the community. That’s staggering (And scary).