The End of Modding? All-Star Devs Weigh In

At PAX Prime over the weekend, PC Gamer put Wing Commander and Star Citizen creator Chris Roberts, DayZ modder-turned-developer Dean Hall, Planetary Annihilation creative lead Jon Mavor, and Gas Powered Games CEO Chris Taylor in the same room… and made them play Commodore 64 classic Archon to the death! Alright, I made that last part up. The devs actually discussed the state of PC gaming, and in particular, modding. With always-online becoming the norm along with developer-controlled servers, will mods soon become a thing of the past?

PC Gamer posted the above video of the lengthy PAX Prime panel, highlighting the issue of mods. It’s becoming more and more of a challenge, the devs conceded that modding won’t die, it will simply evolve. In online games, private servers must be embraced to allow creators to tinker without impacting the balance or security of the core experience, the devs said, and more systems like the Steam Workshop must be developed that allow studios to easily absorb player-created items into their games, as Valve does with Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2.

Of note: Dean Hall said that some studios are missing out on terrific opportunities to expand their communities by supporting modders, stating, “if DICE wanted to kill Arma, all they’d need to do is release some modding tools tomorrow. Psh, gone. It always really hurt me when Battlefield 2 was the end in terms of modding, so I’m pretty obviously supportive of the whole modding idea.”

DayZ in Battlefield 3 instead of Arma 2? Sounds like it’s something that could have happened. Based on the enormous sales of Arma 2 after the DayZ mod took the PC world by storm, that’s news that should make DICE think twice about abandoning modding in Battlefield.

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7 Comments on The End of Modding? All-Star Devs Weigh In


On September 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm
Modding will never die. Devs can dot my com.

Red Menace

On September 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I hope not, honestly mods are the only thing that make most games worth buying.


On September 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Erhhh! The heading.?!
Modding derives from 1980′s fullscale hacking, So modding will never die because hacking is a way into computer life. Serious attempts to stop this was the invention of the fixed consoles, when you try to take the computer away = consoles, you may slow it down for a bit, but consoles can still be hacked, so modding is the future of gaming no matter what you try and do and say, it is what it is.


On September 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Here’s the thing, if companies want more money out of the pc gaming community they should be actively embracing modding because it goes a long damn way towards building a loyal fan base.


On September 9, 2013 at 10:22 am

I Do not think it can be argued that modifications made to games are a very good thing to happen.

the expansion of possibilities with mods create a greater replay value, can create maps/levels/worlds/etc.., can address bugs to games that have long died in the company/publishers (ie – no updates), can create a new way of looking that game (ie – Dayz, Half-life games, BF42-DC, warcraft III and starcraft I), able to make changes to weapons, items, armour, etc…, getting the picture?

if a company/publishers does not have the resources to continue funding their projects, why not let the public/mob/people with loads of free time add something to a game that the person already has fun playing.

With that said, the way i can see mods dieing it the new “F.U.C.K. you DLC” content. if mods add to the game, and give better/new items, weapons, etc…and its free, how will “they” make money from their DLC content.


On September 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm

…..And devs think user-made-content through mods is a thing of the past? Must be the same person who figured we didn’t like single player anymore.


On September 10, 2013 at 1:26 am

Wicked cool panel…its nice to hear from PC developers who know exactly what the score is with the whole “PC gaming is dying” rubbish. However, Chris Taylor’s comments near the end regarding Total Annihilation were rather odd and inaccurate. TA wasn’t originally intended to be moddable. Cavedog *did* later patch it to make it easy for them to release stand-alone files containing new buildable units. That modification may well have opened up the code just enough that Joe_D was able to reverse-engineer the TA archive format. *That* breakthrough was what opened the door to modding TA. On top of that, Total Annihilation was actually one of the LEAST pirated games of the period. I’ve never found a working crack for it, and I’ve owned the game since the month it came out. To this day I rely on a virtual CD to play without the disc inserted (I’m not about to risk that treasured plastic, heh heh).