Was looking at the Seaside house posted recently with all those cool mods and it got me thinking. Something Blizzard did/does with WoW was officially integrate some mod functionality that they liked into the game – essentially taking the work modders had done and making it a true part of the game (most recent being m+ ratings which had been a mod for quite a long time).
So my suggestion for Iron Gate is that if they would like to speed up development in their small team, they should work with people who make the mods they feel align with their vision for the game and integrate them into the core game. It's a winwinwin – modders get recognised for their voluntary work, the devs get free resources, and the game develops much quicker! Might also stimulate the modconomy as well with people contributing new ideas that might be taken up.
Obvs there'll be some modders who wouldn't want Iron Gate profiting off their mod work – imo Iron Gate just leaves those people be and works with the willing instead. Come up with some legal agreement around it to protect the studio and off you go!