E3 2017: Bethesda Boss Contrasts Fallout 4, Skyrim's Creation Club With Paid Mods, Talks Pricing
"We want to leave mods the way that they are."
Since being announced during Bethesda's E3 press conference, there's been some confusion over what the new Creation Club for Skyrim and Fallout 4 is, and what distinguishes it from paid mods. Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines joined GameSpot on our stage show today to discuss the subject, explaining that this is intended to exist without impacting how the mod scene already operates.
"Creation Club was a new thing that the team came up with to say, 'We want to continue to make and do stuff for Skyrim and Fallout 4, and we want to create an ecosystem that works across both games, but we want to leave mods the way that they are,'" he said. "And we don't want to change how that works. And we want to actually be able to do this ourselves but to also bring in external developers or even bring in people who are known for making mods, but not bring them in as modders--bring them in as, now you're a game developer with us, not on a mod; whatever we greenlight that you make has to meet certain criteria. It can't be something you've already created that now you say, 'I want to offer this through Creation Club.' That's not what Creation Club is about."
Hines emphasized the distinction between this content and mods, noting that everything from Creation Club will be treated as official content. "It's almost like mini DLCs in some way, although that's probably not even a great point of reference," he explained. "But they are internally created, or internally created along with external developers. They're fully internally developed and work the same across all three platforms. They're guaranteed to work with your save games. They don't turn off Achievements or Trophies, unlike mods. They're guaranteed to work with all DLC. They'll be localized as needed. They will be put out and created as official content from the studio."
As a means of illustrating this, Hines compared the process to outsourcing work on lower priority art while Bethesda's internal studios focus on the bigger stuff. "There's art in our games that people outside the game studio make," he said. "Like, we need a whole bunch of flower pots; we don't just make flower pots all day, [Bethesda developers] focus on the bigger stuff and outsource the flower pots for somebody else to make. This is, in some ways, a lot like that--it's all official content, we don't have any issues with platforms like what kind of things are you or are you not allowed to include in what you do because it's coming from us. It's QA'd by us. It's managed by us as official content and then put up and made available."
Another source of uncertainty regarding Creation Club involves pricing. Bethesda's initial announcement referred to Credits that can be purchased and then used to buy this content. With no specific Creation Club content announced, Hines didn't have any prices to announce, although he did provide some sense for the scope of what you can expect to see.
"Ultimately we'll see the stuff that comes up, but it's not meant to be high price point stuff; it's supposed to be small things you can add to your game," he said. "The price points will vary. We'll figure that out as we go along. Honestly, it's all dependent on what the folks who are working on this want to create. They get to pitch, 'I want to make this thing, I want to make that thing.' And then it gets approved and they start working on it. If they're a modder that's been accepted, they're no longer a modder. They're now a game developer. Once they get greenlit, they're getting paid like any other developer that works on our stuff."
Creation Club is slated to launch for PC, PS4, and Xbox One sometime this summer. Hines also spoke with us about the inevitable Elder Scrolls VI and whether Fallout and Elder Scrolls take place in the same universe. Check back soon for more from our interview.