In the summer of 2017, Bethesda will once again venture to “Paid Mods”. Like Microsoft with the Minecraft Marketplace, the publisher has chosen the new Creation Club for a curated approach that counteracts the wild growth of the first attempt.
The Creation Club is presented as a “collection of brand new content” for Fallout 4 and the special edition of Skyrim on the PC, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Sold out are weapons, outfits, armor, characters, creatures, gameplay modes or modifiers as well as places and visual upgrades for the game worlds. The Mini-DLCs are paid with credits, a virtual currency, which can be purchased in packages in platform-specific shops.
Mods stay out there
These elements, as Bethesda emphasizes, are “high quality” content created by the Bethesda Games Studios and “external partners”. This is where modders and independent developers come into play. In order to publish content for the club, however, an application process has to be carried out, which also asks for references and already completed projects. As on similar platforms, the publisher does not simply open the doors for everyone.
Subsequently projects can be submitted at Bethesda, starting with a pitch, a short, convincing project description – because the implementation has to be approved. For content Bethesda sets two conditions: they must firstly be new and original, secondly not yet published as a mod. Thus – presumably also with a view to the legal situation – the company prevents that mods are subsequently commercialized. Classic mods should continue to exist parallel to the products sold in the Creation Club.
Quality is guaranteed
Bethesda then creates a development plan with alpha, beta and release milestones; Movers follow the development process customary at Bethesda and are paid upon reaching the milestones. Employees of the publisher accompany the production, help with the optimization and take over quality assurance and localization. “We are very pleased to be able to make sure that the content is compatible with the game, official enhancements and achievements – every release on the platform has the status of an official Bethesda product,” explained Peter Hines. It is thought, according to Hines, smaller additions to the game, but not to sell content within the scope of larger extensions or add-ons. This depends, however, on the proposed projects and is not a fixed condition.
Advantages with fewer drawbacks
This system is a way to ensure the “permanent demand” for more official content of high quality, explains Bethesda. With “paid mods”, however, the problems would outweigh the advantages. Conceptually, the platform is aimed more at freelancers, modders who want to become more professionalized, and external studios, whose ideas and productivity should be used.
With this, the company has a number of advantages of the original idea of Paid Mods: it will create potentially attractive, good content in such an environment, attracting developers and projects – at least if the Creation Club is not a tool for subsequent implementation Of microtransactions and Bethesda pays reasonably. It is still unclear how much remuneration will be paid.