After a less-than-successful initial foray into the realm of monetising Skyrim mods, Bethesda are presently rolling out a public beta of their Creation Club - their DLC-esque, more corporate alternative - to the revamped Skyrim Special Edition [official site]. To sweeten the pot, they're offering early adopters the option to claim a free copy of Survival Mode, a major gameplay modification adding the management of simulated hunger, tiredness and cold to the already-hazardous environment.
Detailed here, Survival Mode seems a fairly comprehensive package and integrated better than most regular Skyrim mods. While nothing too surprising for a survival-type add-on, it covers all the expected threats of tiredness, hunger and exposure. Don't eat and you'll become hungry, reducing your maximum stamina and slowing your attacks with most standard weapons. Don't sleep and you become fatigued, slowing regeneration of stamina and magicka, as well as reducing the effect of potions. Most notable of the new features is cold; each area of Skyrim has its own climate, and the colder the environment, the faster it chips away at your character's internal temperature. As it falls, your maximum health is impacted, as well as movement speed and your ability to pick pockets and locks.
Skyrim has received no shortage of survival mods over the years, and parts of the official Survival Mode are remarkably similar to popular free mod Frostfall. While it is only common sense to give the audience what they want, it seems dangerous for Bethesda to debut the Creation Club as direct competition to their existing community.
Creation Club DLC is content commissioned specifically for the store. While Bethesda are currently making much of it themselves, the process starts with submitting pitches then follows a professional process with payment at development milestones. It's a stark contrast to the 'paid mods' setup, where anyone could sell anything.
While there is no specific end date for the Creation Club beta, plans are for it to launch properly sometime in October, and for Survival Mode to return to its intended price of 800 Creation Club points (equivalent to about $8) a week after its debut.