Bethesda has released the Creation Club for Fallout 4, and soon for Skyrim. For those who are not aware, the Creation Club which Bethesda unveiled last E3, is a platform for getting additional content for the game. In short, mods… Paid mods. Or what Bethesda wants to call mini-DLCs.
But what really differentiates a mod from a DLC? For one thing, both mods and DLCs add new content to the game. However, the striking difference here is that mods are content made by the community and is distributed by the content creators for free. While there are also free DLCs in many games, most DLCs need to be purchased. Given that Bethesda is making the Creation Club as an avenue for other content creators or modders to collaborate with them to create content, then the content in the Creation Club would best fit in the mod category. You might as well call it a DLC for adding mods.
When Bethesda broke that news about the Creation Club last E3, many already speculated that this will be the start of paid mods. Masking it under the guise of “mini-DLCs” is not really a strong argument since people already know that these are actually paid mods. You can’t dress up a chicken as a duck and call it duck.
The question now is “Is Bethesda wrong in releasing the Creation Club?” This is quite difficult to answer at this point since the Creation Club does open an opportunity for modders to get paid for the content they create.
But do modders want to be paid for the mods that they create? Perhaps there are some mod creators out there who geniunely just want to contribute to the gaming community. But for many, it might be an opporunity to make a career out of their hobby? I mean who wouldn’t want that?
People rant about the Creation Club and it’s understandable. The idea is of having paid mods is really something one would sneer at. In fact, when I first heard the news, the first thing that came to mind was: “Paid mods??! How dare you Bethesda?!!”
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. I’ve been reading up on a lot of articles and different opinions on the topic as well. I’ve seen many good arguments for and against the creation club.
One good thing about the Creation Club is that it will bring modding to consoles. Hooray for that.
On the flip side, it could mean the start of the of the end of modding in the PC. Video game giants will see the Bethesda example as an opportunity to cash in on something that used to be free. Sure there will be backlash from the gaming community but the backlash is not something that a PR firm could not handle. We wouldn’t want that but that’s probably what’s going to happen. What if EA catches wind of this? Are we going to see Mass Effect and Dragon Age with paid mods? What would Ubisoft do? Bethesda is entering a dangerous slippery slope.
How will this affect the modding scene? Will Bethesda block modding outside of the Creation Club? Will Bethesda pursue legal action against modders that create items similar to items in the Creation Club? Notably, many items currently in the Creation Club are similar to some popular mods. Will Bethesda assert it’s right to the game’s assets and issue takedowns on these other mods? But then again, these modders aren’t really making a dime out of mods that they make. Bethesda claims that they will not try to shut down modding. I just hope whoever said this is not just a PR guy talking through his nose. If Bethesda will leave the current mods alone, then the Creation Club is pretty harmless. So if you’ve got mods, you can continue to use your mods and just ignore the paid mods.