Bethesda’s “Creation Club” signals a second attempt at paid mods

In its brief E3 conference, Bethesda outlined its plans for a “curated” mod community, but there’s a financial catch.

As part of Bethesda’s third E3 press conference, the company revisited an idea that infuriated gamers years ago: paid mods. In a somewhat sneaky way, Bethesda shied away from that phrasing and instead pitched Creation Club.

Creation Club seems simple. Mods for Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition are created by developers and the community. From there, Bethesda curates the selection and streamlines the best content directly into the mod menu on PC and console. Within the mod menu, players can browse new content by category and use credits to download mods. At this time, it seems credits can only be purchased with real-world money.

Unlike current mods, Creation Club’s curated mods will fully compatible with save games, achievements and official add-ons. In the past, mods prevented players from earning any achievements in game saves that had any mods installed, regardless of how minute they might have been. While improving the way mods function in Skyrim and Fallout 4 is a welcomed fix, paywalling certain things like the ability to earn achievements feels decidedly consumer-hostile.

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What mods is Bethesda planning to curate? Just about everything. Creation Club will feature entirely new experiences like new areas and dungeons, new animations, new weapons and gear, improved textures and new gameplay tweaks like survival mode. The better question seems to be what mods isn’t Bethesda looking to integrate into its new paid mod service.

Another unanswered question is about mods on PS4. After a tumultuous and repeatedly delayed roll out on the platform, it was announced that mods on PS4 must come from in-game assets. Meaning things like the infamous Thomas The Tank Engine mod that replaced Skyrim’s dragons with flying trains wouldn’t come to Sony’s console. With Creation Club, will the only mods on PS4 be the ones made directly by Bethesda? Or is it possible the two companies have come to an agreement about expanding the scope of mods on the platform?

Of course, there’s still plenty of time before Creation Club goes live where Bethesda can clarify its goals. At this point in time, Bethesda’s Creation Club FAQ says that the only way to get credits is by purchasing them. They do note, however, that credits purchased in Skyrim Special Edition and Fallout 4 can be used interchangeably.

Creation Club is coming to Xbox One, PS4 and PC later this summer.


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