Bethesda has clarified its position on the paid mods controversy and the introduction of its Creation Club, explaining that free mods won’t be going anywhere. The original announcement for Creation Club caused much consternation among Bethesda fans, although it turns out the messaging may just have not been clear enough at the time. Bethesda marketing man Pete Hines has said the Creation Club will be treated as premium DLC for Skyrim and Fallout 4, but that any mods already made will be free forever.
"Is Creation Club paid mods? 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 localisation, 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."
In essence, the Creation Club content is either A: Created in-house at Bethesda, effectively making it official DLC, or B: Created by a vetted third-party mod maker who meets Bethesda’s standards. Whatever route it takes, all of these mods will be subjected to Q&A testing plus alpha and beta phases in order to ensure they’re good to go. All submissions will also have to be 100% original, so there’ll be no flipping content for a quick buck. "It's almost like mini DLCs in some way, although that's probably not even a great point of reference,” says Hines. “But they are internally created, or internally created along with external developers."
We will be getting a very small, curated selection of paid mods then, but for the vast majority of mods they’re going to remain exactly as they were - free. It’s going to be fascinating to watch how this system grows and develops. It could actually encourage more people to create free mods, cutting their teeth on the design work and putting themselves in the shop window, so to speak, with the aim of eventually being invited into the Creation Club.
Has your opinion on Creation Club softened since the original announcement? Is this still just paid mods in disguise? Share your thoughts below!