In a sign of the times, Paradox has launched Paradox Mods, a new independent platform designed to provide mods outside of the Steam ecosystem. "Steam mods will only serve Steam users, and we have a growing percentage of players that buy their games from elsewhere,” says Anders Törlind, from Paradox.
Paradox Mods is being touted as the first-ever open modding platform that allows the distribution of mods across multiple platforms, launching with both PC and Xbox One support. Unlike Bethesda’s efforts, there’ll be gatekeeping at play here. Users are free to upload whatever mods they want to the Paradox Mods platform and they’ll be usable regardless of platform or PC gaming client.
“Modding has been, and remains an important part of the Paradox community. As we have diversified the way we distribute our games, we want to make sure all our players can take part in the creation process,” said Törlind. “For Surviving Mars, we have worked with mod creators to support Paradox Mods with some of the best mods available, all in one place and downloadable in-game or simply using a web browser. We really look forward to unlocking the world of modding for all members of our community, regardless of what system they are using to play our games.”
Up until now, modding for Paradox titles has basically been restricted to the Steam workshop. Törlind expresses it as being “Steam exclusive”. It’s a system that worked up until now, but splinter ecosystems and multiplatform support mean Paradox now views the Steam Workshop integration as outdated. Valve’s stranglehold over the PC market isn’t what it once was, and it’s beginning to show.
Surviving Mars is the first game to support the Paradox Mods system and can be opened from within the main menu by looking into your Paradox Account and opening the mod manager. From there you can browse the available mods and automatically download them.
For the mod creators, the process is pretty simple. They make the mods exactly as they did before but rather than submit them to the Steam Workshop they’re submitted to Paradox Mods. They’re then taken and automatically distributed across every available platform, no extra work required. At the moment Paradox Interactive has said it doesn’t have plans for modding tools on consoles but it hasn’t ruled out the potential for this at some point.
In addition to the mod support, the latest update for Surviving Mars has also added mouse and keyboard support for the Xbox One.