Bethesda Creation Club: Mods You Pay For

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Creation Club

During Bethesda’s E3 press conference, Bethesda slipped in some news about the Creation Club for Fallout 4 and Skyrim: Special Edition.

Players will use this new in-game mod storefront for both titles to download fan-made mods and even new content from Bethesda itself. Mods will be purchased credits and those credits are available for purchase on PSN, Xbox Live and Steam. Bethesda insists this is not the same thing as the paid mod fiasco from the past. Instead of paid mods, we now have mods that you pay for. See the difference?

Mods have always been a way for the community to extend the life of a game, especially Bethesda titles. Remember that Skyrim trailer on the Switch that showed the Master Sword in Hyrule? There’s a mod for that. Pretty much anything you can think of, there’s a mod for. This used to be a way for fans to add content to their favorite games but now it seems like Bethesda is going to use the service as a way to artificially extend the life of their games. It has been nearly six years since Skyrim and we just received another port and The Elder Scrolls 6 looks to be a long ways out.

Bethesda Creation Club

In order to become part of the Creation Club, potentially creators will have to create pitches that must be approved by Bethesda themselves. All content must also be new and original, at least this means the store won’t become flooded by mods already existing on the Nexus. Bethesda works with the creators and goes through bug fixes with them to ensure it is the best quality it can be. Creators will also be paid for their work.

We don’t have any idea on how much these mods will cost or how big they will be. We do know that many of these big mods on the Nexus, ones that add huge chunks of content to the game, like Enderal, rely on a lot of smaller mods to exist. The Creation Club will likely not include those unless they expect the player to shell out money for 20+ mods at once just to play an additional story. We will still have free mods but we’re afraid we won’t see as many of them in the future since the modders can now be paid for their work. Only time will tell, though.

Bethesda Creation ClubBethesda

Still, Bethesda insists Creation Club is not paid mods. Here is their description of the program:

No. Mods will remain a free and open system where anyone can create and share what they’d like. Also, we won’t allow any existing mods to be retrofitted into Creation Club, it must all be original content. Most of the Creation Club content is created internally, some with external partners who have worked on our games, and some by external Creators. All the content is approved, curated, and taken through the full internal dev cycle; including localization, polishing, and testing. This also guarantees that all content works together. We’ve looked at many ways to do “paid mods”, and the problems outweigh the benefits. We’ve encountered many of those issues before. But, there’s a constant demand from our fans to add more official high quality content to our games, and while we are able to create a lot of it, we think many in our community have the talent to work directly with us and create some amazing new things.

It sounds like a good idea on paper, but we’re afraid this will open to door to other developers trying to same thing. We don’t want a repeat of Oblivion’s infamous Horse Armor DLC. If this is the path Bethesda is taking it, we want them to take great care with how this is handled. The Internet is keeping a very close eye on you, Bethesda.

Creation Club rolls out this Summer on PS4, Xbox One and PC for Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition. I guess now we know why Skyrim Special Edition doesn’t have Steam Workshop integration.