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."

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Now Playing: Bethesda Responds To Paid Mods Concern And More - E3 2017

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.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for johnal

What a load of ...

You can slap a new coat of paint on a totaled car, it is still a totaled car. You can call this whatever you want, it is still paid mods.

I have had it with Bethesda. Once, they were a company that made mostly decent games. Nowadays, they are just milking the cow dry. All of their games had MAJOR problems from the get-go. The ancient Graphics, the insane bugs, the Constant CTDs...

Here is a crazy idea, try to fix your d*** games before launch, instead of thinking about new ways to rip people off. There is already a way for people to show how much they appreciate mods, it's called DONATION. But I guess it's not good enough, because none of that goes into Bethesda's bank account.

Avatar image for xdeathclawx

The return of horse armor :D

Avatar image for muppetbabymastr

If it's content like that cascadia seattle mod looks to be I have no issue with them reviewing and "canonizing'' the content and charging me 10-20 bucks for a polished (by Bethesda standards) product. If the moder gets there cut I don't see the issue, just please no more workshop shit.

Avatar image for metsuri

I am the one that created 2 of the viral threads regarding this on Reddit and Gamefaqs including the Imgur image showing the credits ---> purchase credits ---> and statement on their creation club page. So people know I am extremely against paid mods.

The only way I would potentially use it is if 2 criteria were satisfied:
1. Credit prices are along the lines of 1000+ per dollar with special periodic deals for even more
2. I can install CC mo...official content to the vanilla game + expansions/dlc and then stack mods from Nexus on top of it. If it is only compatible with the bethesda.net in game modding, then it is a 100% no go for me.

Avatar image for thedemon44

I swear the people posting in here have to be paid shills.

What I just read is a very convoluted way to say one thing, and one thing only: "PAID MODS."

Put whatever twist you want on this, but as Shakespeare once wrote, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Only this doesn't smell very sweet.

Avatar image for bigrob007

"we don't just sit around all day making flower pots"

flower pots

maybe they should put in a LITTLE effort.

Avatar image for alaannn

mini dlc that is paid mods they should be making expansions

Avatar image for BigFeef

As a freelance game developer/programmer; I can say that not only this does make a lot of sense, it also opens up a lot of opportunities for people like myself who can have a lot of downtime between projects. I'm just glad they didn't go the full pay for mods route like they tried to do last year. That was a horrible idea and they deservedly got a lot of flak for it. I just hope they don't screw this up by getting greedy.

Avatar image for zerofrust

Sooo thats probably the secret project they wanted me to sign a NDA for lol. They are outsourcing developpement basically. Seems interesting, I might give it a try.

Avatar image for alaannn

@zerofrust: they put your mod on the main page for console

Avatar image for zerofrust


Yeah i saw it. They probably wanted one of my mod to appear on their promotional video. But i was so busy with work, i couldn't participate. Modding is interesting but when you have little free time, it's better to do something more relaxing.

Avatar image for alaannn

@zerofrust: so your the one to blame for bethesda having to use crab armor instead of somthing good,have you heard any details of what bethesda are building is it expansions with modders helping ie you do the armors and bethesda does the gameplay/missions etc

Avatar image for zerofrust

I haven't heard any more information than you did. They offered an invitation and i declined because i had too much workload at my Job to participate into any project. Even if i accepted i would be legally obligated to not divulge any information on it(they request that you sign a NDA). I thought it was about working on some huge DLC, i wasn't expecting this whole creation club thing.

Avatar image for alaannn

@zerofrust: will you be joining creation club,would you want to build small dlc or expansions,i think bethesda should be making expansions not small dlc

Avatar image for zerofrust


I will see how it turns out first. But to be fair, i would probably get way more from donations when i release mods for free than if i try to have few of them sold there. I don't think people would be willing to pay(except maybe people on PS4, that would be their only way to get them) for small mods like armors, weapons and such.

Avatar image for alaannn

@zerofrust: i think they pay you a wage instead of getting a cut from sales

Avatar image for zerofrust

@alaannn: Oh i see, that might be interesting then.

Avatar image for alaannn

@zerofrust: im making a mod (im putting lots of armors into the same esp)how do i add a armor to crafting do i put it into data/textures/armor/steel will it show up in the steel section at crafting or will that replace all the steel armors the npc wear

Avatar image for kanekan-slaugh

risky plan, but can work well if it's heavily regulated. For example no one wants a repeat of what happened with steam. (there was a paid gold potato mod)

Avatar image for alaannn

@kanekan-slaugh: there was a paid gold mud crab in the video

Avatar image for timmyboy101

Makes sense, looking forward to it!

Avatar image for ode2infinity

This controversy over paid-mods or not seems to be over semantics more than anything else.

For example, do you consider non-free add-on DLC - e.g. a special armor set - a mod?

If so, then, by your definition of mod, the company is already offering "paid mods"; if not, then it's not.

The better question, then, is whether or not it upsets you that developers offer such add-on DLC for a price.

If it does, then Creation Club should only upset you because it perpetuates this pre-existing practice that you dislike. Consequently, it would be more productive to take aim at this practice rather than focusing on whether or not Creation Club constitutes "paid mods."

If non-free add-on DLC doesn't upset you, on the other hand, then you shouldn't be upset here, either, since Creation Club simply offers another avenue for Bethesda to generate such content for us to purchase if we so choose.

And that's the bottom line: Bethesda isn't offering us anything with Creation Club that they among other developers don't already offer us - that is, non-free add-on DLC content. You can make an argument against this practice. You can even argue that Creation Club would reduce the quality of such content. Whether or not this content constitutes "paid mods", on the other hand, seems to me neither here nor there.

Avatar image for darthrevenx

I kinda understood what Creators club was gonna be from the start, yeah I was right......

this really isn't a bad thing, especially for PS4 cus in some ways guns are an issue......

where's a dedicated .50 cal rifle? where's more shotgun models? where's more SMG's?

even energy guns where's the Plasma Defender? Where's the LAER?

there's a lot of weapons that weren't added that could be added back, the .50 cal rifle is kinda a big deal cus you can simply rechamber a rifle for it but there's no legit .50 cal weapons in the game....WTF?

but also the creators club would offer legit content, hell someone could go in and create a whole new quest line complete with new characters and weapons and armor complete with proper textures and what not.....

I'm all for this.....anything that improves the game even a little is good IMO and getting new DLC treated as DLC is cool even if it's small in scope....

Avatar image for davecole98

It's nice to see that Bethesda is at least trying to find a way to give back to the mod developers, I just hope the mods offered are worth the prices they're selling for. Knowing that the mods are made internally as well gives me hope that what will be available is actually worth their weight; we don't want to spend money on another horse armor DLC, if you catch my drift. Besides, it won't interfere with the mods already available, so even if I don't like the Creation Club it won't affect anything, no harm done.

Avatar image for Xylymphydyte

No, they're not modders! Wink wink nudge nudge say no more! They're developers! It's not paid mods! Wink wink cough elbow elbow know what I mean?! They're DLC!

They must think people are monumentally stupid.

They're probably right.

Avatar image for Wraith3

If this is actual DLC like content, canon Fallout stuff, I have no problem paying for more.

Avatar image for biggamerdude

Oh, I understand now.

This is nowhere near as bad as paid mods guys. Seriously, its actually making sense

Avatar image for Metalnoid

Shut up and take my money!

Avatar image for babaelc

The question is: how is this new content fundamentally different from mods? Because if it's just new weapons, itens, and "gameplay" they are just....you know... MODS and the whole thing is PAID MODS.

Avatar image for AncientDozer


So would you say DLC are mods, too? There's gotta be a line here somewhere.

I, myself, am warry but I can see what they are trying to say. And I think I can see a distinction.

Mods are strictly third party and almost always created by amateurs. There are no uniform standards and no official support. No vetting or seal of approval by the game devs.

What they seem to be saying is that this is a way for people from Bethesda and other companies and, yes, perhaps even prominent modders to submit additional content and have it more stringently vetted to make sure it both works and won't conflict. The idea is that anything bought through this system will not be, hm, game breaking I suppose? So that you can still get your achievements and whatever.

That's what they seem to be saying.

Whether or not it holds true, well, we'll see.

Avatar image for johnal

@AncientDozer: How many DLCs for Skyrim are out there after 6 years ?

5, maybe 6. And half of them were released by Bethesda.

They are launching the creation club for 1 DLC per year, maybe ?

You really buy that ?

Avatar image for ragnarocking

Don't worry guys, these mods are superior since they are being QA'd by Bethesda!

HAHAHAHAHA best joke i've heard in a while.

I mean, are they just going to ignore the fact that their QA is complete and utter shit in like.... ALL of the games they release?

If anyting, i'd be worried to buy a mod that Bethesda's QA put their hands on. Hell, even modding community does better QA for their own mods AND also Bethesda's games with Unofficial patches.

That statment about the QA thing has to be a joke, it just has to be... i refuse to take it seriously.

Also, the part where mods turn off Achievements is being treated as a downside, guess who implemented this shit in the first place...

Oh, and he forgot the mention there's a mod that re-enables Achievements with mods.

Avatar image for BobaFatt

So they say they want to leave mods as they are, yet they plan to recruit the modders themselves that make popular, widely used mods? Yeah, basically paid mods.

Whether this pans out or not, it's almost a certainty that the next step will be to eventually make the Creation Kit(s) a separate purchase.

Avatar image for Chizaqui

Wow. Hines is an idiot if he thinks the general population will fall for that line "it's more like mini-dlc." So they'll be sucking money from folks for mods with the expectation that everything in the Club will work, but it's Bethesda so we know it most likely won't.

Now to sit back and watch it be wildly popular >.>

Avatar image for Dav_id83

This is going to be the future people for there games I won't be suprised if they lock out Nexus Mods next.

Avatar image for babaelc

@Dav_id83: if they shut Nexus down they might as well declare bankruptcy, because not a single Bethesda game copy will be sold again.

Avatar image for KotomineKirei


There are a lot of people who would probably still buy the games since they put the games on consoles, removed a lot of the role-playing elements and added more action elements, which caused a different group of people, who do not care as much if at all about mods, to start playing the games.

Avatar image for indojimbo

The first creators club content will be horse armor for $10

Avatar image for PSYCHOV3N0M

@indojimbo: LOLOLOL ahhhh the mythical Horse armor continues to traverse generations by STILL being spoken through people's mouths in 2077 *grins*

Avatar image for merwanor

What is complete and utter bull-crap is packs of "content" that is perhaps only a new weapon model or something like that. And they charge perhaps $2 or more for it. Now you may say, what is wrong with that? Well if you take out a weapon model, lets say the combat shotgun from Fallout 4. How much is left of the game itself, how big a percentage is that single weapon compared to all the assets in Fallout 4? Way less than 1%.

And that is what is wrong with DLC and even more wrong with paying for mods. You pay less for more. Just take the Fallout 4 season pass as an example. They charge full price for the season pass. But how big is all those DLCs compared to the original game. Around 40-50% Probably less, but they still charge the same amount of money for it.

If a mod or DLC costs $5 and I bought the original game at launch for $50, I expect that mod or DLC to be substantial enough to have at least 5% the same amount of content as the original game.

Avatar image for hellnawafflecar

ohhhh so its not paid mods, theyre just mods... that you... pay for....

...wait i'm confused again.

Avatar image for PSYCHOV3N0M

@hellnawafflecar: 2+2=FISH

Avatar image for Rlon1050

@hellnawafflecar: the way I took it mods will still be free unless they are through the creation club in that case you pay for themy because they match criteria that mark them official Bethesda mods.

Avatar image for BeefoTheBold


So...paid for mods then? No offense, but this is "poTAYto, poTAHto" territory.

Avatar image for Rlon1050

@BeefoTheBold: yes paid official mods. However it doesn't effect the current mod scene. You can still get all unofficial mods for free. Mod creators can still make and put out all the free mods as before.

Avatar image for hellnawafflecar

@BeefoTheBold: to be fair, all joking aside, theyre officially released, made by former members of the modding community, now employees. theyre no less DLC than dawnguard, its just that now the team working on them are made up of people who were hired because they made mods.

Avatar image for BeefoTheBold

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,"

Translation into the original English: Modded in microtransactions. **** off Bethesda. Marking spin does not change the fact that you're trying the same old paid for mod bullshit that you tried before.

Avatar image for jski

"They won't turn off achievements, unlike mods". It's okay Pete, we've got a mod for that :)

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