Bethesda have had another disappointing, if not unexpected, E3 event this year, but one new announcement, the Creation Club, sounds very familiar to the paid mods scheme that appeared for Skyrim on Steam not so long ago - but Bethesda say it's something different.
Bethesda are very keen to point out that the new Creation Club is definitely not paid mods. In a Q&A on their website, they even go so far as to emphatically answer the question, "Is Creation Club paid mods?", with "No." - so what is it?
Basically, Bethesda say, the Creators Club is "all original content" that is "mostly created internally", but will also include content from "some external partners, and external creators" - they further go on to say that the content that will be released on the creators club will be "approved, curated, and taken through the full internal dev cycle; including localization, polishing, and testing" - sounds great.
But the content that you'll see on the Creators Club does not necessarily reflect that bold statement, a Dwarven Mud Crab, for example, is classic traditional mod type content, as are the rest of the examples you see on the screenshot below;
So the question is, if a mod author does want to release mods that do exactly the same thing, mods that would be very simple and easy to make, will these be allowed to stand for free alongside the paid content? Is paying a premium for a mod to go through approval and QA, something Bethesda games are obviously well known for, worth it?
The model is similar to the recently announced paid mods scheme for Minecraft, essentially identical infact - real world cash is exchanged for MS Points style currency which can then be spent on the Creators Club content, much like other micro-transaction models which are invading mainstream gaming and have proved very profitable in the mobile gaming space.
Bethesda have also stated that previously created mods are not eligible, however they don't rule out that newly created mods cannot be submitted.
So it's fair to say that this new scheme is a middle ground between paid mods and micro-transactions, while traditional free mods will be permitted to continue for the time being, it is clear that Bethesda are once again attempting to monetize the wealth of free additional content that proves so popular with their games.
Do you agree with the new Creators Club, do you feel they're a valid new form of content or are they really paid mods in disguise? Let us know in the comments below.
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