Since Bethesda’s E3 conference on the 11th, people have been talking about the developer’s announcement of the Creation Club, a new way to get mods for Skyrim and Fallout 4 that requires players to pay. There’s been a pretty solid amount of confusion surrounding this new system but here’s what we know for sure: people aren’t happy. One look at the responses to Bethesda’s tweet on the day of the conference will confirm that.
The idea of paying for something that has been a free resource since the dawn of computer games seems ludicrous, yes. However, the idea of paying a person for their good work seems to make perfectly logical sense. It would seem that Bethesda’s goal with Creation Club was more the latter than the former.
Much like the failed “paid mods” functionality of the Steam Workshop back in 2015, Creation Club is looking to pay the people that create the mods. The only way to do so, of course, is for people to actually buy those mods. So, should we buy into this whole Creation Club thing? I say “why not?”
Call me an outdated Unpopular Opinion Puffin meme, but I see nothing wrong with what Bethesda is doing here. As long as the modders are fairly compensated and credited for their work then what does it matter? Nobody is telling you that it is necessary for you to purchase these mods, and there’s still thousands of excellent free ones to download all over the internet.
Since Creation Club is made and run by Bethesda, the quality control issues and blatant mod theft from the Steam Workshop are no longer a problem. This is a controlled environment which Bethesda oversees and ensures the quality of. Not only that, but every mod available through Creation Club is guaranteed to work with previous saved games and DLC. All in all, this feature promises to be quicker, easier, and run smoother than the traditional modding scene, all for what will (hopefully) be a small fee.
Modders asking for compensation is not a new idea, either. The extremely popular Elianora, for example, has a Patreon page in which she receives $421 monthly for her creations. On the Nexus Mods website, Elianora has 92 downloaded files available for free, the most popular of which has been downloaded over 337,000 times. Hundreds of thousands of people enjoy Elianora’s hard work, so why should she not be paid for it?
The biggest defense against the Creation Club I have seen is that if we allow paid mods to exist, it will likely mean the end of free mods in the future, which I don’t think is likely to happen. I don’t think I need to remind you that this is the internet, and the internet always finds a way. This is not the beginning of the end, or the start of a grim future, this looks to simply be a legitimate over-the-counter way to allow mod creators (and admittedly Bethesda themselves) to get paid.
This looks to be the same issue that many Youtubers run into when they rely on adsense to make their revenue. If you watch a creator’s content everyday but use an AdBlocker, that creator is losing out on money they could have otherwise made from your viewership. It is safe to say that if you enjoy someone’s work, that work should be looked at as something worthy of payment.
I am not advocating for all mods to go the route of the Creation Club by any means, but I simply fail to see the reasoning behind the outrage. If your opinion differs from mine I would love to hear why in the comments. For more information on the Creation Club, visit Bethesda’s website.