Bethesda: Fallout Creation Club “is not paid mods”


Bethesda VP Pete Hines strikes me as a man grown weary of discussing mod controversies, like 2015’s paid Skyrim mods hullabaloo. In less than a week since its release, Bethesda’s Creation Club, which lets you buy mods for Fallout 4 [official site] with credits that cost real cash, has drummed up a fair amount of them. Hines, however, not only seeks to assuage fears that these premium mods were heralding something terrible, but also disputes the very idea that the Creation Club constitutes ‘paid mods’.

“We have been supporting mods and making the mod community grow and be viable since 2002, and we are going to continue to try and do new things,” Hines told Tek Syndicate at PAX West. He acknowledged that paid mods didn’t work, and then tried to explain why the mods that you can pay for now are not, in fact, paid mods.

“One of the reasons this is not paid mods, when they’re working for us it’s a job. They’re not getting paid only if the stuff sells, they’re getting paid like an external contractor all along the way, so the risk is removed for them.”

Hines’ perspective, then, is that these modders are essentially developers, and they should be paid for their work. And that’s entirely, 100% reasonable. But… they’re still mods you pay for.

Since it launched at the start of the week, there have been concerns about the quality of the mods on offer and much discussion about what precedent this sets for the future of free mods.

There’s also been an issue with the mod file archives being apparently downloaded as part of a universal Fallout 4 patch, even if you haven’t purchased a single mod. The latter was addressed by Bethesda in a recent FAQ update: “We’re working on solutions that would not require Creation Club archives to be part of the game’s patch.”

Hines also attempted to tackle the broader conceptual concerns around the Creation Club and paid mods:

“It’s early days. It hasn’t been a week. I know that people are upset and frustrated, but at the end of the day, mods are and will continue to remain free. Modders can continue to do whatever they want, through our own stuff, through Nexus, go nuts.”

Throughout the interview, Hines emphasises that free mods aren’t going anywhere. But when it comes to the quality of the Creation Club mods, his suggestion is a simple one: Don’t like them? Don’t buy them.

“It’s no different than if there’s a video game out there, if you don’t like it because you don’t think it’s as good as something else that’s free-to-play, or some mod that somebody is doing, then don’t buy it. I don’t understand what the problem is.”

This doesn’t really address the problem that, arguably, Bethesda are currently charging for things that don’t yet compete with some of the best Fallout 4 mods out there, both in terms of quality and complexity. How might the various conversations around this already divisive topic differ if the prevailing sense was that the Creation Club’s initial offerings were significantly more desirable?

At the end of the interview, he claims that this experiment has only just begun. “It’s early days and we want to continue to try and grow and evolve modding and I don’t think you can do that by standing still and saying we’re not going to try or do anything different.”

I’d certainly rather see Bethesda experiment with mods and reward their hard-working creators instead of ignoring what is such a huge part of their games, but appeasing all sides of this argument will not be at all straightforward.

Elsewhere in the interview, Hines lets slip that Bethesda’s got a new game in the works that it’s set to announce this year, but on Twitter he has backpedaled, saying that he made a mistake. Guess we’ll just have to see what the next four months bring on that score – in any case, the publisher’s still got Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus and The Evil Within 2 to get through before 2017’s out.


  1. Seafoam says:



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      Drib says:

      I think equating Creation Club to Ingsoc might be a bit of a stretch.

      My problem is more with the way (I’ve heard, anyway) that Creation Club disables (or at least screws with) free mods if you are trying to use both, and also forces load order to be alphabetical.

      But I haven’t tested it. I’m just going on what I’ve heard from people ranting on the cyberweb.

      • Seafoam says:

        It downloads all the mods in it on your hard drive whether you want it or not, and you can only use those files if you pay for them. Imagine in the future when the amount of big mods on it will increase, my poor hard drive is cluttered as it is.
        Oh and the lowest pack of credits costs 7 euros, therefore if you want to buy one little packpack mod it forces you to waste money, I personally despise such business.

        And I was jabbing at their insistence of them not being paid mods, similar to the ingsoc manipulating the populace with newspeak.

        • fish99 says:

          Oh so that’s what the big patch for F4 was. That’s dumb. In a few years time that extra install size could be like 30GB. Just makes me want to uninstall the game.

      • Blad the impaler says:

        Eww. Screwing with a Bethesda load order is not cool. And I had to uninstall FO4 when I saw a 3.-whatever GB patch. All of this is just wrong.

        I think if modders want to jump through hoops and hook themselves into a paid system, that’s fine. I also think if people want to purchase these items, that’s also cool – as long as it doesn’t mess with my ability to seek out community content on my own terms.

      • Gordon Shock says:

        I wholeheartedly disagree. Saying that you make a mod, I pay for it with real money and somehow it is not a paid mod, well, that’s in the same basket as “alternative facts” and all the other inventions of the PR folks, marketing specialist and spin doctors.

        Let’s just call B.S, you know, B.S

    • MikoSquiz says:

      The key question here is whether you consider any DLC that’s not free to be “paid mods”. If not, what’s the difference, exactly?

  2. Troubletcat says:

    Honestly, I’m generally against paid mods, but it’s hard to argue with him. There are and will be for the foreseeable future plenty of free mods for Bethesda’s terrible, terrible games.

    I think it’s pretty cool they’re paying modders as contractors actually.

    And people can (and should!) always vote with their wallet if they don’t like it.

    My investment is low, since as I subtley hinted at earlier, I don’t think Bethesda has made a game worth playing since Fallout 3 (and before that, Morrowind), but it’s hard for me to see who this actually hurts. Free mods will continue to be the majority of mods. Some people who work on making mods get to get paid. Consumers still get to choose what they want to consume.

    It seems… fine.

    • wombat191 says:

      people often say they would prefer to donate to modders directly which is nice but practically modders will make more from this than donations

      • Babypaladin says:

        Only these creation club modders are getting paid though, which is the part I personally find a bit bothersome. That sentence may have sounded weird to some people, so allow me to explain.

        There are only a selected few types of modders that Bethesda are looking to recruit for their creation club. Due to a couple of limitations(file format, localization, compatibility, budget…), only people who wants to do smaller, microtransaction-ish content are invited. There are modders who have been doing some truly impressive stuff for years, applied multiple times for creation club when they announced the program, and never even heard a peep from Bethesda. I’m not so arrogant to say that I know what’s fair and best for everyone, but this just doesn’t sound right to me…

        • wombat191 says:

          They should at least tel people “Your application has been rejected” or something. If you look at how Bethesda actually describe the content creators it comes across as mostly internal Bethesda, other developers and then some modders in that order.

          • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

            Almost no other jobs bother sending rejection letters or emails these days, not sure why Bethesda would.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Yes, why should Bethesda show the minimum respect towards individuals who have added value and fixed the long list of bugs in their products for decades. No-one else in the world shows people any respect, so why should they? Have you seen how much [strike]paper and ink[/strike] emails cost to write these days!

      • SaintAn says:

        It’s sad that you would say that. It shows just how bad off and submissive millennials are.

        Here’s just one of many modders making money off donations: link to

        He makes $4,000 a month from making mods and commissions for mods.

        If you make good mods that people want and put in some effort to add stuff people want through commissions you can make some damn good money and still give the mods out for free.

      • Flopper says:

        People SAY they will donate to modders. The majority won’t actually. The same way people say if they download a game on Pirate Bay and if they like it they’ll buy it later to support the developer. They won’t.

        • wombat191 says:

          Flopper is right.. For every modder than makes decent money from donations there are probably a 1000 who barely make anything

          • Dogshevik says:

            Of which approximately 850 never planned to do.

          • April March says:

            When you say “didn’t expect to” did you mean a modder whose life is absolutely comfortable and didn’t even bother to put up a donate link, or one who has a donate link and would be very very happy to live off their mod work but never had any expectation of actually doing so because they know what a long shot it is? Because I’d only agree with you if it’s the latter, and I don’t think that’s the point you’re making.

    • upupup says:

      It’s quite easy to argue against, see my post below. A lot of gamers are just terrible at being aware of their power as consumers and need to be reminded ad nauseum until they get the hint. Not implying anything in regards to yourself, but you can already see a lot of ‘it’s fine’ going on in this very thread. Suspiciously so.

    • SaintAn says:

      Are you a PR person, ignorant, or just plain stupid? It’s obviously not fine, and easy to argue with this as I already did.

  3. Nauallis says:

    I think the only thing people have any justification to complain about with this situation is the mod file auto-download with a game update, especially since it’s not a multiplayer title and there’s no reason to have content that isn’t by default a part of the game or its expansions.

    I’m still baffled as to why “If you don’t like it, then don’t buy it” is still such a hard concept for people to grasp. And as others and the article have noted, it’s not as if other sources of free mods have suddenly stopped existing.

    • ohminus says:

      Well, you’re baffled by why people don’t understand “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it”. I’m baffled by Bethesda being surprised that they earn a shitstorm through overpromising and underdelivering. They’re charing for an individual item one fifth of what they charge for a full DLC and are miffed if people tell them that’s insane? What the CC should have been for is mods like Falskaar and Enderal, all quality controlled (not that that was ever something Bethesda was particularly good at…) to work reasonably reliably. Instead, they throw stuff at us of a value comparable to the free pens or mousepads other companies throw at people but charge a few dollars for it.

      Consider this – you’re going to Pax and publisher after publisher is showering you with gimmicks, and there comes Bethesda and tells you “But OUR lanyard is three bucks apiece”. Do you know a person who wouldn’t look at them as if they were effing insane?

      They KNEW this was a sensitive topic that had the potential for a shitstorm. They should have learned that from their last failed effort. They should have known better than to come back “Well, we just started this, we’re still trying things out”. After the last disaster, there should have been no way this goes public in the state it’s in.

    • Ich Will says:

      I don’t want them. So I won’t buy them.


      But I’m still pissed off that they’ve ALL been forcibly downloaded to my hard drive

      I’m also pissed because I thought Bethesda had committed to creating a stage in between modding and developing, creating a genuine career path for talented modders without making them take the absurd risk of jumping from modder to developer. But they haven’t, so now I can’t support my favourite modders who want to make something special but can’t justify the time cost.

      I’m also pissed that they have been ignoring some of the most popular modders who tried to take said career path, but it’s not just that they ignored them, it’s that they’ve used hacks.

      • Ich Will says:

        *That’s hacks as in ‘untalented individuals’ (the directer is a hack), not hacks as in computer hacks (They hacked the bank and transfered millions)

      • wombat191 says:

        Apparently they are trying to work on a “solution” to the auto downloading content, so hopefully it’s the last time it happens.

        The totally funny part is that it took modders roughly 10 minutes to extract said auto downloaded content and make a file that treats the content as a free mod.

        Is it technically piracy if they added it into the game as a patch?

      • pepperfez says:

        I think the “career path” Bethesda hopes to create here is more akin to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk than it is to, say, a career.

        • wombat191 says:

          I could potentially see someone releasing content in the CC eventually being hired by Bethesda but apart from that if they are releasing content pretty regularly, they could make a part time job out of it, but yes possibly not a full time career out of modding

    • Beard_Arthur says:

      “I’m still baffled as to why “If you don’t like it, then don’t buy it” is still such a hard concept for people to grasp.”

      Because it’s always been a slippery slope, just like fully-developed Expansion Packs turning into modestly priced (sometimes free) DLC turning into Season Passes that you pre-pay for before the thing even bloody comes out.

      Just like cosmetic item drops turned into a market for cash turned into loot boxes, turned into the recent Shadow of War and Destiny 2 abominations.

      This isn’t a “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it”, thing. Feel free to bury your head in the sand but not buying it STILL impacts us if enough other people are “okay” with terrible business practices.

      I loved “Shadow of Mordor” and despite the fact that I refused to play the lootbox lottery in other games, I’m still getting that garbage injected into my single player games. Yes, for that reason I’m not buying it, but gods, what stupidity on their part.

      • Kitsunin says:

        This is where the bulk of the problem lies, indeed. “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it” assumes things you don’t like won’t sell well. But there are many other people in the world, people who will pay to ensure the industry changes for the worse (by your standards if not everyone’s). And unless enough of a stink gets made, there are plenty of people who will buy goddamn anything. Look to mobile gaming for your proof.

        As you say, no doubt there are tons of people who loved Shadow of Mordor and really wanted a sequel. And now those people have the shittiest choice to make: Buy the sequel they so wanted and tell WB it’s cool that they stuffed it with stuff they despise. Or don’t buy the thing they really fucking want just to make a point. It’s these cases where you get “X thing you adore but with Y thing you despise” in which the “don’t like it don’t buy it” argument falls to pieces. Because dammit I don’t like it, but dammit it’s been glued to something I love, and I’m not being allowed to buy one without the other.

        This is why we should stay unified in hatred toward something, even if it can easily be ignored. Because when we stop being able to ignore it, it will be too late.

        • KenTWOu says:

          I’m not being allowed to buy one without the other.

          You’re allowed to buy one without buying the other. Buy the game, but don’t spend a dime on microtransactions. Besides the sequel was balanced without keeping microtransactions in mind (proof).

          • Kitsunin says:

            Sure, I’m not saying you can’t play The game without microtransactions, but their inclusion means that if you want to get the most out of the game, you have to get them. Shadow of War might handle it well (it just seemed like an easy example of a case where the microtransactions have no reason to exist), but that doesn’t mean other games also do.

            What if there’s a game which is my favorite genre and absolutely perfect…but it has an energy system and forces you to pay money for every mission after the first each day. You could “just play one mission each day” but obviously the game won’t be fun played in such a way. Just like some games are much less fun when you don’t buy microtransactions, but dammit it’s still great when you buy them and would be amazing if only they’d never been popularized.

          • KenTWOu says:

            Look, we’re talking about paid games like Shadow of War or Mankind Divided with micro transactions in them that affect nothing. Meanwhile, what you’re describing is basically a free 2 play game’s pay walls between levels (patience walls, to be exact). It’s a completely opposite case. I’m pretty sure when a $60 PC/console game will include a thing like that, it will be destroyed by reviewers and, as a result, will get a pretty low metascore.

          • Kitsunin says:

            But there are free to play games which are really good and have such despicable systems! I’m taking my argument to it’s furthest possible result so you can see what I’m getting at here. There are lots of otherwise great mobile games which do exactly the kind of crap in that example.

            I disagree with the idea microtransactions affect nothing as well. If you don’t pay for them, your game has less content. If you love the game you want it to have as much content as possible. Which is a disgustingly bad value proposition considering the price to obtain “all” the microtransactions in a game which has them. Maybe not Shadow of War specifically. I don’t know enough about it specifically.

    • aepervius says:

      You were probably the same type of people which were baffled why a lot of people were miffed at having to pay for additional cosmetic or loot box after they have paid for a full game. Yet those people seems to have been right in their fear that this extremely bad practice would continue to gnaw at the game industry and invade even AAA games. Repeat and rinse with other bad practices.

      See , the end game with paid mods, is that in a few iteration ONLY paid mod vetted by Bethesda is allowed. And that will not go toward the interest of the consumer at all.

      • Nauallis says:

        If I’m correctly reading what you wrote, you were forced at some point to buy DLC? Which game was this? It certainly wasn’t Fallout 4. The base game is feature-complete. Sure, it’s wonky, and it might not be your favorite game. But there’s no requirement to buy DLC for it to be playable. So what game was it?

        Because otherwise, you seem to be implying that any updates to a game post-release must be free (because reasons!), regardless of quality/volume of content. That’s absurd. Have you been in a coma for the last fifteen years? This certainly isn’t new behavior for developers and publishers.

        • trooperwally says:

          I’m not aepervius but I’ll have a go at a reply because it seems you’ve misunderstood the point.

          This isn’t about being forced to buy DLC. This isn’t about being entitled to free post-release content. This is about the possibility of mods existing and being freely available.

          Whether you accept the argument or not, the argument is that CC is the start of a slippery slope which leads to a situation where (at least for Bethesda games) free mods aren’t on offer any more. If that happens I think (hope) we can all agree it would be a worse situation than current situation in which free mods exist.

          Given what we’ve seen with microtransactions and loot boxes etc. it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect that a ‘slippery slope’ argument might actually apply here.

          And throughout this, simply not buying a game/mod doesn’t insulate you from the industry shift that comes about if enough other people do buy the game/mod.

          • Nauallis says:

            I appreciate you being polite about it. The root issue is indeed entitlement, and no, I don’t particularly accept the slippery slope argument about paid mods leading to no free mods or “microtransactions therefore pay-to-win.” I don’t “misunderstand” the arguments being made, I disagree with it the absolutist, hyper-reactionary conclusions being made. I am baffled by the entitlement being expressed. Updates that remove exploits, allow ongoing functionality and support, fix bugs, etc, those I think are reasonable to expect from a developer, for the type of game in question. Free content for the life of the game? No. Full stop.

          • gwathdring says:

            No one is talking about free content made by Bethesda forever. You say you don’t misunderstand, but that’s a pretty big misunderstanding. No one is saying that.

          • April March says:

            If people were demanding something for free that had never been free because they just thought they were so special, then I’d agree it is entitlement. But the argument, on this thread at least, is that developers would in the past add more content to a game – lots of new content – and not charge for it; and that this was a better situation for buyers. You can’t argue that it was entitlement then to expect a thing that was given as a matter of fact, so neither can you argue so now to people who remember those days.

        • JarinArenos says:

          “It’s not new” and “other devs do it too” are actual defenses in your world?

          • sosolidshoe says:

            When someone’s starting point is “hurr durr entitlemunt” expecting quality arguments from them will only leave you endlessly disappointed :P

    • SaintAn says:

      Yeah, try thinking instead of talking and you might understand. You’re obviously ignorant so I’m baffled as to why you think you should comment on the subject.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      That argument works for literally everything. If you don’t like peoples’ opinions about the Creation Club, don’t read them.

      See? Easy!

      • Daymare says:

        I’m glad so many posters agree that this is an awfully flawed argument. It just instantly dismisses any form discussion.

  4. bramble says:

    I think there is something to be said for Bethesda being probably the most mod-friendly AAA developer out there. I wonder if Morrowind would be remembered even a quarter as fondly without the modding scene. How many other games added easier modding options after seeing Beth do it? How much credit does the indie game scene owe to Beth for getting a generation of teenagers looking at their games innards and scripting?

    I get the angst over paid mods and, as implemented, I doubt I would ever buy any. My bar for quality is much higher when I’m expected to spend money, as opposed spending time wrestling with arcane installation instructions to get a modded quest pack from an author who doesn’t know how to use the correct form of their/there/they’re. But, in theory and principle, I support the idea of hobbyist modders professionalizing their work which I enjoy, and encouraging other talented would-be modders to get involved. I think that’s good for PC gaming in the long term – our low financial and technical bar to enter and make or improve a game is the fundamental advantage we have over consoles and AAA dominated development.

    It needs a lot of work and some truly killer mods to make me even browse the list, but in principle I think this is a good thing.

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      Drib says:

      They’re They’re. Their doing there best.

    • napoleonic says:

      I wonder if Morrowind would be remembered even a quarter as fondly without the modding scene.

      Morrowind is my favourite RPG and when I played it I didn’t even know that mods were a thing. So yes, I think it would.

    • Faxanadu says:

      Morrowind was great without mods.

      Oblivion and Skyrim are objectively piles of turd. But with mods, they became great.

      • ludde says:

        Piles of turd? Really?

        And since you mention objectivity, they’re both at 94 on Metacritic.

  5. something says:

    I’d certainly rather see Bethesda experiment with mods and reward their hard-working creators instead of ignoring what is such a huge part of their games

    I’d rather Be The Sda keep out of it. By all means do all they can to make life easier for modders, but inserting themselves into the economy of modding is only going to have a destabilizing effect.

    The danger with the publisher moving into the mod market is that their brand authority drains users away from the unofficial modding scene, while providing an inferior service. The net effect being a reduction in the total number of mod users.

  6. Halk says:

    So then they’re just microtransactions in a (former) $60 game with season pass. As if that’s any better.

  7. Peppergomez says:

    Is there a mod out there that makes FO4 worth playing?

    • Troubletcat says:

      Probably, but then that’s been Bethesda’s company motto for years: “Don’t Worry, The Community Will Fix It!”

    • b00p says:


      • J.C. says:

        the best answer

        nothing can fix fallout 4’s bland everything, most dull “rrrpeegee” in recent memory

        bring back top-down fo1/2 style with dnd type characteristics

    • Babypaladin says:

      Sim Settlement(and its expansion Industrial Revolution) is exactly that mod for me. It’s some seriously amazing stuff. And the fact that huge mods like that exist on Nexus for free makes you wonder… What can Creation Club possibly offer that allows them to even compete with regular modding?

      • wombat191 says:

        I’ve just been trying out Sim settlements and it is amazing, I would expect something like that for the next game.

      • Massenstein says:

        The thing that most worries me of paid mods is, what if a paid mod does something fancy like this first? Free mods doing similar things and competing with each other is not a problem and often the modders even help each other. But were a free mod to directly compete with a paid one, I’m paranoid the former would be forced to cease and desist to not eat on the profits. If that happened, it would lock away parts of the modding scene whenever a paid modder did something first.

        • ludde says:

          That’s a worrying thought. Big companies do tend to have a low tolerance for when their profits are threatened.

    • Moonracer says:

      Lunar Fallout Overhaul.

  8. wyrm4701 says:

    This iteration of Bethesda’s attempt to monetize modding is really just a beta test for the next game. Expect their next outing to have mods locked behind their storefront (no Nexus for us anymore), and likely a less capable modding toolkit. Clearly, making money off the community mods is their goal, and you can expect to see that reflected in their future games. The ‘don’t like won’t buy’ conversation we’re having isn’t going to be nearly so weighted toward the consumers when everything is forced to go through the Creation Club.

    • RedViv says:

      And then they’ll improve the experience by giving an option to get the mods for free. Through loot boxes.

    • Ich Will says:

      Won’t happen, even if they did _try_ it, modders will write the tools themselves, like we did before Bethesda got mod ‘friendly’ and like we do with every other game that has mods despite the publisher having a strop about it.

      • April March says:

        There are plenty of mods for games that don’t support mods, but save for a few exceptions they are very limited, since either very little of the game can be changed or the effort to do so is beyond the scope of amateurs working weekends. If Bethesda decided to clamp down on ‘unauthorized’ mods, they could do so – especially since they’d work extra hard on it, knowing that there would be groups of people who’d work equally hard on defeating it. And even if it could be easily bypassed, any time a modder spends bypassing it is time not spent making the mod they wanna make. That’s without even going into the argument that larger mods might become the target of lawsuits, like it happened with those GTAV modders.

    • wombat191 says:

      Honestly I have been surprised at Bethesda. With their focus on consoles with Skyrim and the atrocious mouse and keyboard UI I’ve been honestly expecting them to completely drop modding as an option full stop. I never expected them to actually introduce it to consoles and then try to release mod microtransactions.

      I under estimated the power of the dark executives

      • Massenstein says:

        Introducing mods to consoles was one of the best things they’ve done in my opinion. Not having access to mods is one of the worst parts of console gaming, and yeah, game-capable PC is not an option for everyone.

        Though I don’t play on consoles anymore, I will be only happy if more console developers start supporting mods.

  9. Jerion says:

    Disclaimer: I’ve worked on at least one very big-scale mod project (nothing to do with Bethesda), and helped out with an assortment of others. These efforts were completely voluntary, and I went into each of them mostly to simply see what I could contribute in a meaningful way. Passion projects, all of them. No expectation of being paid for my time or energy.

    I have zero problems with somebody getting paid for doing professional level work. I have zero problems with people getting paid for making things that other people find desireable. Those two things are not always in the same part of the vein diagram, but where they overlap, you find mods that consist of some are damned fine work that goes far and above what could be expected of no-budget, night-and-weekend hobbyists. In that cross-section you’ll find mods that could quite rightly be sold for some small sum of money. If people want to make a thing, and that thing is really well done, and the IP owner is cool with money going around, then by all means put a price tag on it. That’s the first step to making a talented and passionate amateur into a capable and productive professional. And that is always a good thing IMO.

    • wombat191 says:

      I totally agree with what you said there

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Here’s the thing though – the larger projects you collaborated on were almost certainly using the work of other modders. If you want a paid mod, you need to create it from scratch – which adds to the development time and complexity, or start cutting in a whole cascade of other modders, if they even give you permission.

      That, for me has always been the attraction of the modding scene, and why I’ve been a part of it for years, without money polluting the scene, it is a collection of passionate people who between us can achieve far more than a commercial version.

      I’m not opposed to modders charging for their work, I would be, as someone mentioned above, delighted for there to be a clear path for modders to get into professional development – but money complicates things, and needs to be treated with care. I feel that the community, when it’s good and ready will work out a fair way for modders to be paid, minecraft used advertising in it’s links and made it’s modders a decent whack, but was unfair to larger creations. We tried donations, which failed to make anything like an amount worth worrying about. I suspect next up will be patreon, the “I’m making this mod, you can support me here, and get access to early builds etc.” I don’t think we want or need Bethesda to make the pathway for us, with their fingers in the pot as well.

    • SaintAn says:

      Go make your own game (Darthmod modder did that and has two good games out now, and the RimWorld creator was a modder) or be smart enough to get people to donate and do commissions for other peoples mod ideas they can’t do themselves. Everyone has an idea on how to improve something, so give them a way to and make money from that. That’s what’s going on in the Sims modding community.

      Don’t sellout and ruin modding for everyone because you’re selfish and too stupid to see how monetizing mods could kill modding.

  10. wombat191 says:

    I’m not completely opposed to the idea as it allows people to potentially make modding into an actual career. The are walking away with a few hundred to a thousand dollars apparently and some of the people involved have said its benefited them working with Bethesda support allowing them to increase their skills.

    Out of the content.. Personally only workshop items really interest me and what i would consider value for money considering how much time i spend in it.

    That said these are not mods, they are not mini or community DLC they are subcontracting the creation of micro transactions, simple as that.

    There are a lot of downsides at the moment. A frankly crappy selection for the most part, the limitations with the new file type means you are never going to have anything large released, and downloading all the CC content, while smart for consoles in that it works around limitations, its still a really, really bad idea long term with possible astronomical game size after a few years.

    They are apparently looking into the auto downloading thing and a couple of modders have said “exciting things are coming” so I will wait and see for the most part before I write the whole thing off.

  11. smeaa mario says:

    If anybody wants to pay for extra garbage to place up on that garbage game, by all means let them. Serves them right.

  12. MrBehemoth says:

    Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, Bethesda announces they will be outsourcing development of small DLC projects to talented modders on a short contract basis, and is widely praised for it. It’s just semantics.

    (The megadownload patch thing is lame, but they’ll fix that.)

    • sosolidshoe says:

      Is that the same parallel universe where everyone who responded to initial concerns being raised about microtransactions and F2P back in their infancy with assurances there couldn’t possibly be any kind of slippery inclined surfaces involved and people were just overreacting/whiny/entitled were actually right, as opposed to our reality where almost all the concerns outlined turned out to be completely correct?

      Look, people could be wrong, Bethesda could be telling 100% the truth, and this could turn out to be the best thing ever to happen to modding ever. Given the recent history of the industry though, anyone who argues people who are suspicious of Bethesda’s motives and intentions(given they’re, you know, a corporation) and worried about the future of modding are just paranoid crackpots as many do when this fiasco is discussed just doesn’t fly.

      I mean, I thought about typing out a list of the most egregious excesses of the AAA publishing industry re microtransactions & DLC in recent years, then stopped when I realised I’d be sitting here for hours cataloging them all – these guys have form.

  13. Saboera says:

    It’s third party micro transactions and it’s dead on arrival, at least on PC. The whole thing is a badly implemented joke just like the horse armor joke they pulled.
    They failed miserably again to capitalize on something that has incredible potential. It’s like they barely learned anything from their first attempt. If anything it looks more and more like a cash grab for consoles.

    The fact the content is already on your hard drive and merely activated via a .esp download is just ridiculous from a technical standpoint and Capcom level of insulting. What were the plans for the future? Have an extra 5gb of inactive content on people’s hard drive? Breaking the mods load order is all you need to know to understand they are completely out of touch with mods. They plan to address this, but only after a tons of complaints. That doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence in their ability to implement this and display a huge lack of foresight.

    Then there’s the fact they’re launching it with the laziest type of content they could have launched with. Recolors, armors and weapons… Like really?

    ”Paid mods” has already been implemented in the right way in the past, by Atari of all people. It was called Premium Modules in Neverwinter Nights, it’s a shame it was way ahead of its time and never really caught on since the age of digital downloads wasn’t there yet.

    • kyynis says:

      Premium modules were also ridiculously large, some of them almost longer than official expansions. They also experimented with new gameplay mechanics and brought assortment of new assets to play with.

      That was, of course, the olden days. Today, it’s five bucks for a single armor set.

  14. Dogshevik says:

    You know who is going to be smiling all day? Bethesda´s legal department. They have their work cut out for them in the next few years.
    – This free backpack mod looks similar to the one we sell!! Hue and cry! Cry, I say!
    – Modder X got accepted as paid modder. Modder Y didn´t. But they had worked on something together before! One is earning $ with its code the other isn´t. Oh my!
    – Big bad B made 2 zillion bucks with that radscorpion slipper mod, but paid only 2 grand to its modder :sadface:!
    The list of not only potential but entirely forseeable drama is incomplete but starting to sound hilarious already.

    I got nothing against people being compensated for hard work. But why in an indentured status? When there is money involved there is also a bottom line. And I am sure Bethesda has done its math in this regard. If not, they have the resources to flex their muscles. Have the customers and modders done the same? Probably not.

  15. Moonracer says:

    A friend made the good comment that if Bethesda is essentially hiring the best of the modding community to do small jobs, why not hire the people that do the Unofficial Patches and make an official patch to the game(s)? Or add most (if not all) of the functionality that the script extender offers.

    • Lurid says:

      Why waste money developing good quality mods that people might not buy, when you can churn out garbage that costs next to nothing and some poor *cough*ps4*cough* sod will still buy it?

  16. Marblehead says:

    The first rule of Creation Club is…….

    • pepperfez says:

      …Bethesda retains full legal rights to anything you may create as part of Creation Club?

      • wombat191 says:

        Welcome to the wonderful world of being a subcontractor :) it sucks

  17. upupup says:

    Time to repost my big post…again:

    ““This is just another attempt to ease in the idea of paid mods which, in any shape or form, is still a terrible idea that isn’t in anyone’s interest bar the big companies pushing it. All the guarantees they give mean absolutely nothing when the other party consists of thousands of tiny players who won’t be able to hold them to their word. There’s lots of reasons for this:

    – The foundation of modding is freely sharing one’s work and ideas. Mod interdependence is a good thing that should not be discouraged by giving people a stake in screwing each other over on who owns what and harassing others over wanting compensation. There’s enough modding drama already without adding money as a factor. Just look at the list of mods involved in any big mod and imagine the nightmare of giving every person in every team for every mod their ‘due’, or even figuring out who legally owns what to begin with.

    – For those that want make money there have always been options anyway, from it being a good way to find employment in the industry or serve as a staging ground for their own projects. This nothing new. There is also no need to use the hypothetical of a handful of modders who might have genuinely profited from this change when their skills would translate to well-paying positions anyway, especially when the community as a whole would suffer for it.

    – One of the reasons modding projects haven’t been systemically stamped out already through C&D’s is that it hasn’t been profitable to do so. Once you give companies incentive to either pressure people into turning their free mod into a paid mod (from which the company will get a cut, of course) or halt their project to make room for someone who will with the threat of legal action, you’ll this change very quickly. It won’t matter if these projects are legally in the clear, because all these small projects won’t have the financial clout or legal knowledge to defend themselves.

    – Bethesda doesn’t need to profit from all the work of others tangentially related to theirs but not made by them now and forever until the end of all, which is the real purpose of this. This is a perversion of copyright, not its intent.

    – Adding money as a ‘motivator’ is no guarantee for quality or good support, so it is not as if we’ll suddenly see an increase in modding quality. Modders already put unreasonable amounts of effort into their projects because it is their passion and adding money won’t somehow allow them to put in 110%. Besides, what tends to get more support: paid for games or the projects maintained by fans?

    – Most importantly however, and something which tends to get severely underappreciated, is that we should not be encouraging people to see every aspect of their lives as something to be monetised. People should have room to have hobbies that are valuable for their own sake and without any pressure to at some point turn it into a source of income. Just let people enjoy what they do without whispering to them not being paid for it means it’s not being appreciated.”

    All of it still applies. This plan fits in the usual pattern of introducing a major change that people will get upset about in an extreme form to test people’s reaction. If it’s accepted straight away, great, if they don’t, keep reintroducing it in a scaled down manner until they do. This gives the impression of a compromise even though they’re the ones pushing for it and are the only ones benefiting from it.

    And no, the guarantees given by Bethesda are worthless and always will be, because they’re in a position to change the rules once they’ve established a market and modders are not. They are hollow promises that are already easy to circumvent in ways such as ‘motivating’ a popular in-progress projects to launch on the Creation Club with a C&D. That’s the logical next step from the current way a C&D is used with an added financial incentive to go after as many projects as possible, both to shut down competition and popularize their platform.

    I don’t think a lot of people get how the people making these decisions think: any opportunity to monetise something to the absolute limit that isn’t followed through on is considered to be them not being paid the money that they’re owed. The only reason they’ve left modders alone is because there was no profit in bothering them, which this changes. Expect this to get as bad and invasive as they can make it if allowed to continue. Again, this benefits no-one but Bethesda and sets a terrible precedent if people were to try and downplay it.”

    In short, there is absolutely no reason to accept this, tolerate it or to defend it. Bethesda is not arguing in good faith but looking for the magic words that will make people tolerate something that benefits them and them alone.

    • wombat191 says:

      Honestly I’m actually expecting half to 2/3rds of the content not to be from modders at all but from either external developers or Bethesda internally.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      So basically if it’s paid for, it’s not a mod, it’s DLC/expansions.

      This is “DLC club” not “mod Club”. :P

      • upupup says:

        No, that’s part of how they’re trying to rebrand it, but it’s nonsense based on the sword sounding appropriate but not matching the actual meaning. These are mods for all intents and purposes and paying for them therefore makes them paid mods.

        What they’re trying to do is shove mods under the broad umbrella of DLC, which you usually already pay for, to make it ‘logical’ that you should be paying for mods, too. It’s a move to gain control over the modding communities that usually spring up around their games and squeeze them for more money. Modders getting slightly paid for their work is nothing but an excuse, the deal would be much more advantageous if that’s what they cared about, and a poor excuse at that.

  18. alsoran says:

    It looks like a Duck
    It walks like a Duck.
    It swims like a Duck.
    It quacks like a Duck.
    My guess is that its a Duck, Ummm; Mod.

  19. Viral Frog says:

    I’m really confused as to how paying for mods does not constitute paid mods.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      It’s true. If you pay for the mod, that makes it paid DLC… but being clever, they did not call it Horse Armour Club. ;)

  20. ChiefOfBeef says:

    The cheek of Hines in stating that Bethesda have supported mods and their viability since 2002 when the reverse is far more true: it is mods which have supported Bethesda and their viability. How many unfixed bugs and anti-fun design flaws ignored by Bethesda have been solved by the mod community?

    This has been an annoying trend in the games industry for a long time now: what used to be ‘free'(to people who bought the game and supported it) is now paid-for ‘DLC’, expansions are now separate full-priced games and customers are meant to feel grateful for anything they get, even if it’s just mod-support that ultimately benefits the publisher.

    No, it is all completely the reverse.

  21. Hyena Grin says:

    There have been plenty of examples of developers tamping down on modding their games in order to better be able to sell DLC that would be easily modded into the game. They do this in a number of ways; withholding mod tools, using online checksums to compare data, and even, in some rare cases, going after modders with their legal department.

    The monopolizing of content for games is, at least in our present system, totally legal, and sometimes tolerated by fans. But it’s on the whole not very popular, I imagine.

    What I’m trying to say is that I don’t actually trust Bethesda to not in some fashion handicap, limit, or shut down the modding community entirely if they can establish a ‘modding market’ where they can get paid for mods produced by others. They’ve been feeling around for a way to do this for ages, trying to find a sweet spot or a gap in people’s attention where they can get their foot in the door without pissing off more than an acceptable number of people. It’d be real easy for them to release the next Elder Scrolls game such that everyone would need to pay for the privilege to mod it. I think it would be a disaster, but I don’t trust them not to.

    As they say, once you have your foot in the door, the expectation is that you’ll find your way onto the threshold, lest you lose your foot. They’re not investing all this time and effort and blowing community goodwill for nothing, and I’m skeptical that their intent is to stop.

    I hope the community remains very wary.

  22. GIJoe says:

    Want to support the modding community?
    Then make your games even easier to mod, stop hardcoding stuff.
    That’s all you have to do. Not this BS.

    • uteki says:

      C’mon, I never see any game that can spawn countless mods and spark interest in modding as much as Beth’s game. You have to give them credit.

      • Otterley says:

        I’m not certain that the strong modding history of Bethesda’s games should change what we expect when Hines claims that they intend to evolve modding. Not hardcoding certain aspects would be a great step in that direction, interfering with the loadorder isn’t.

        The current offering seems to be devolving modding. The only thing I see evolving right now is Bethesda’s business model.

  23. Stevostin says:

    “This doesn’t really address the problem that”

    Actually it kinda does. It shows you you can adress it by not not buying those. Basically they’re adding something from the table.

    What’s the real catch here IMO his in the “do free mods, go nuts”. Not the first time I read devs calling the modding scene “crazy”. While the modding scene typically impress the world with mods that feel… occasionally… not often… but it happens… better than the publisher content. So the mod scene isn’t only about giant shrimps wearing sexy outfits, but it’s also about direct competition for the paid for DLCs.

    Now Bethesda could hunt the best mods, collaborate with their creators, and buy them to sell them. Nice. But as long as they say “nuts” instead of “cool”, “crazy” instead of “amazing”, my money is that it’s not in their head to do so.

  24. SaintAn says:

    Don’t worry folks, I’m here. I quit my game of CK2 where I’m uniting England and came as soon as I saw this on my feed.

    Paying money for mods = Paid mods.

    PR nonsense doesn’t change that fact.

    You’re welcome.

    “We have been supporting mods and making the mod community grow and be viable since 2002, and we are going to continue to try and do new things,”

    Like running the modding right into the ground out of greed and a desire to exploit just because you can and gaming sites won’t stand up against them and say enough is enough.

    Modding is under attack on all fronts so if this keeps up it will die. If you want to help it flourish then do what Ark does and pay modders and work with them and release the content for free instead of stealing modders work and selling it as DLC like in Oblivion/Fallout4/Skyrim, or stealing their work and selling them as paid mods.

    And if anyone out there is stupid enough to think this is okay or are passive about it, know that it will gradually get worse and worse and more expensive and will effect you and you’ll hate it. We’ve been here when DLC was first introduced, and again when microtransactions were introduced. The MMO genre died because of it.

    He even admits this: “At the end of the interview, he claims that this experiment has only just begun. “It’s early days and we want to continue to try and grow and evolve modding and I don’t think you can do that by standing still and saying we’re not going to try or do anything different.””

    And if you think modders don’t make money then you’re wrong. Modders make money from donations. Sims 3 and 4 modders for example make a lot of money from modding. There was a Kotaku article about how one modder makes over 4k a month in donations and commissions.
    link to

    “Modders can continue to do whatever they want, through our own stuff, through Nexus, go nuts.”

    “Until we gain more power over you and people become used to it, then we will make things so much worse for you stupid consumers.” Is the rest of that quote.

    Boycott everything Bethesda or Zeni makes or publishes. If you can’t live without what they make then pirate it.

  25. racccoon says:

    link to
    got to be the best video on the subject, lol

  26. djhellsinki says:

    “we want to continue to try and grow and evolve modding and I don’t think you can do that by standing still and saying we’re not going to try or do anything different.”
    The truth in this seems to be missing. This is not about making better mod tools, making better mod integration, or heck, making a mod economy third party with people buying credit to exchange for mods, and 5% of the money for credit goes to Bethesda.
    This is about only one thing, monetization. They don’t evolve mods, they don’t experiment with mods, just with the monetazation.
    They are unable to even patch their own game, relying on modders, relying on modders to update their assets to higher quality and extending the game life, and their dlc pales in comparison to mods.If anything Bethesda should pay the modders, not make us pay Bethesda for modders work.
    Not good enough in the least.

  27. TheAngriestHobo says:

    You’re monetizing something that was never intended for profit. That’s why people are pissed.

    You can’t win this battle, Bethesda. Go back to doing what you’re good at not facing any competition in.

  28. Faxanadu says:

    So in future my Skyrim experience goes from:

    “Oh cool, lets check nexus and loverslab for cool new mods…”


    “Oh, sure would be neat to afford all these cool mods…”

    Great. Totally doesn’t make bethesda look greedy as hell.

    If you wanna help modders, make the next game easier to mod and pay some of the biggest modders – and get more copies sold by giving the mods free.

    Or, you know, just kill modding community and be greedy…

  29. poliovaccine says:

    I was one of the most enthusiastic optimists when this idea was floated initially, because I would have loved to see a world wherein projects like Tamriel Rebuilt might actually come out before the next *two* sequels in the series by dint of modders actually being paid enough to quit their jobs or at least devote more hours to doing something which I appreciate and they love. Instead they’ve managed to pretty flatly stick their foot in their mouths and then shoot themselves in that foot across the board. So as much as I’m disappointed, I can only imagine the way other people feel worse.

    That being said, yeah, the Ingsoc is a little much haha. There’s no duality of thinking here, just the fundamental principle that a hot dog is “worth” upwards of $3 if it’s close enough to Central Park, because how far are you really willing to walk to save two bucks on a hot dog? Or the way a 20oz soda and a 2 liter cost the same – you pay for the convenience, not the quantity. And that isnt dualistic or even especially manipulative, it’s just capitalizing in the assumption that, given the opportunity, folks will indulge their laziness. As a consumer you have every chance to prove them wrong haha.

  30. TotallyUseless says:

    As long as the good modders of Nexus doesn’t abandon us, and future Elder Scrolls and Fallout titles still gets modding kit support, this shouldn’t be a problem.

    Our nightmares would start if majority of the Nexus modders starts moving away from Nexus and on to Bethesda, then we’re all in really really deep pig hole.

  31. Michael Anson says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many histrionics as with the modding scene. I grew up when mods weren’t supported as a matter of course, and they were still being made. Now, for some reason, every time someone suggests that a freelance developer get paid for their third party content instead of merely relying on the mercy of strangers, it’s time for the torches and pitchforks.

    Also, semantics here. Mods are third party content distributed for free. DLC is content that is paid for, regardless of source (see XCOM 2). This has not suddenly changed because more people are being invited in.

  32. geldonyetich says:

    What, specifically, is the problem with paid mods? Is it:

    A: I don’t think it’s right to charge people for content that, previously, they were getting for free. Especially when there are already better alternatives than what’s being charged for that are still free.


    B: Actually, I don’t like to have to pay for games, it’s why I prefer to pirate them. I justify this through a staunch belief that I am denying the evil corporate overlords that are destroying the planet. Now they’re trying to destroy *free mods*?! RISE UP, BROTHERS!

    • Sheng-ji says:

      No-one here at least is philosophically opposed to paid mods – read what they are saying. They are opposed to implementations of paid mods.

      • geldonyetich says:

        Maybe it is you who need to read what people are saying here, because I’m seeing:

        Paying money for mods = Paid mods.

        PR nonsense doesn’t change that fact.

        You’re welcome.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Yes, but they are very specifically upset that it is Bethesda who are implementing the system, not the modders themselves.

          There are a few people who are against paying for any mods, but so what? I mean, you do have to deal with a simple fact that just maybe, the product you make isn’t worth paying for to many people. Sucks, but, that’s capatalism.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            If you want a world where consumers pay for mods, then you enter a world where the consumer is no longer your advocate. A consumers role in a working capatalistic society is to get the best deal for themselves. If they don’t do this, capatalism stops working. So while you, as a modder is not charging for your work, you are giving the comsumer extra value on the product they purchased. You are advocating for the consumer, which is why you get their good will.

            You start asking the consumer for more money, you change that relationship. You are no longer adding value to a bethesda product, you are making a value proposition all of your own, so you get to feel the pressure that up until now, you have been applying to any who would launch a product in opposition to a Bethesda product.

            Reactions like yours sure makes it look like you can’t take the pressure, you seem to be upset that the consumer doesn’t like that you are planning to raise your prices – well what did you expect? If you want to charge the public money, that pressure is part of doing business. If you can’t handle it, I would advise that you don’t!

    • wengart says:

      There is no consumer protection here at all.
      You buy a mod that only the creator has any responsibility to, and the only way he is held responsible is essentially that he will feel bad if it stops working.

      As you buy more mods you become more limited in what other mods you can purchase or install. Maybe that $2 mod breaks your $5 mod. So you have to return the $5 mod or disable (throwaaway) the $2 mod, and that only works if you discover the problem within the 24 hour period. Otherwise you have to choose what paid mod you use.
      There are just an insane number of ways for mods to break or interact poorly with the game or other mods. Be that the mod actually breaking a part of the game or just unbalancing it or destroying immersion. A few of the current mods for sale actually just give you 1 hit kill weapons within the first 5-10 minutes of gameplay. There is no sense of how any of these mods will really fit into the game, and traditionally you would say “fuck it, I’m uninstalling this”. In this environment though you’ve paid money, and unless you rush straight for the mod content and complete it you won’t know if what the store says is actually accurate in time for a refund.

      Then there are possibilities of modding divas getting pissed and intentionally breaking their own mod.

      • wombat191 says:

        Except in this case the paid content is designed to work without compatibility errors with the base game, dlc and the paid mods

  33. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Aren’t we all ignoring the bigger issue here? That dude’s beard is the worst thing ever. He looks like a vampire that feeds on hair.

  34. JohnH says:

    Hehe, oooookay. Nice try mr. PR guy.

    If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…?

    • Slightlylyons says:

      It looks like they hired people who made mods to create DLC for them to anyone who isn’t a reactionary. So it’s DLC?