Yesterday, Bethesda revealed the Creation Club for Fallout 4 and Skyrim. According to the company, Creation Club will feature new items, abilities, and gameplay created by Bethesda Games Studios and outside development partners including the best community creators, and will be fully curated and compatible with the main game and official add-ons.
However, a lot of controversy arose over whether this Creation Club is basically another attempt to sell mods. Which… well… it’s not.
The Creation Club will feature new content for Fallout 4 and Skyrim, and all existing mods will not be retrofitted in the Creation Club. In other words, modders will not be able to charge for mods they have already created (which was happening with the paid mods for Skyrim via Steam).
As Bethesda noted:
“Mods will remain a free and open system where anyone can create and share what they’d like. Also, we won’t allow any existing mods to be retrofitted into Creation Club, it must all be original content.”
So yeah, traditional mods will still be offered for free via other platforms. However, the new stuff that will be coming to the Creation Club will be approved, curated, and taken through the full internal dev cycle (including localization, polishing, and testing) by Bethesda itself.
“Most of the Creation Club content is created internally, some with external partners who have worked on our games, and some by external Creators. All the content is approved, curated, and taken through the full internal dev cycle; including localization, polishing, and testing. This also guarantees that all content works together.”
As such, Bethesda will be paying any modders involved, it will offer full support, and players will be able to buy this new stuff.
So think of the content in the Creation Club as semi-official paid DLCs for Skyrim and Fallout 4, created with the help of modders that will be approved and curated by Bethesda, and not as paid mods.
The fact that Bethesda is involved in this means that simple or below mediocre mods will not get monetised. Moreover, mods that basically plagiarise other mods with similar content will not get monetised. Existing mods will not be added to the Creation Club. And, apart from moral grounds, modders will most probably be able to ‘borrow’ the content found in the Creation Club, slightly alter it and release it as free mods.