Bethesda introduces paid Skyrim, Fallout mods with Creation Club
New add-on platform allow PC and console owners to download extra content for credits
Bethesda has announced a new paid mods system that will see it charge for extra game content.
Announced via a trailer during it's E3 2017 press conference, the Creation Club is a new collection of add-ons for Skyrim: Special Edition and Fallout 4 where players will need to purchase each piece of content.
The trailer reveals a credits currency that will be used to acquire each mod. Users will be able to purchase credits via PSN, Xbox Live and Steam, and they will be transferrable between platforms.
This a bold move given how mods have been largely free for decades, but is no doubt an attempt to capitalise on the success of these add-ons since being introduced to console through Skyrim and Fallout 4. Bethesda's Pete Hines revealed that mods have racked up more than 300m downloads across both games since last year.
Confusingly, Bethesda doesn't view this as a paid mod system - despite the need to purchase credits in order to download them. In a Q&A on the Creation Club website, the firm stressed that this is a separate system to the established mods available for both games.
"Mods will remain a free and open system where anyone can create and share what they'd like," the firm wrote. "Also, we won't allow any existing mods to be retrofitted into Creation Club, it must all be original content."
Part of Bethesda's justification behind charging for these new add-ons will also stem from the fact that all Creation Club download will be developed by the company's own staff or approved partner studios, as well as leading creators from the community. The mods are also guaranteed to be completely compatible with their games.
"Most of the Creation Club content is created internally, some with external partners who have worked on our games, and some by external Creators," the publisher continues. "All the content is approved, curated, and taken through the full internal dev cycle; including localisation, polishing, and testing. This also guarantees that all content works together.
"We've looked at many ways to do 'paid mods', and the problems outweigh the benefits. We've encountered many of those issues before. But, there's a constant demand from our fans to add more official high quality content to our games, and while we are able to create a lot of it, we think many in our community have the talent to work directly with us and create some amazing new things."
Aspiring mod makers will also be able to apply to become approved creators. If successful, they will receive payment for their work "as soon as their proposal is accepted and through development milestones", according the the website.
Creation Club mods will include new weapons, clothes, characters, creatures and enhancements to the gameplay and world, such as new locations or modes.
The new marketplace will launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC later this summer. You can watch the trailer introducing the concept below: