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E3 2017: Bethesda's Creation Club isn't "paid mods"

by: Randy -
More On: E3 2017

This Summer, Bethesda is introducing Creation Club. It's to be an in-game storefront for (at first, anyway) Skyrim and Fallout 4. In this store you'll buy pieces of content like weapons, apparel, world content, characters, creatures, and gameplay features with credits. Credits will be available for purchase in Steam, the PlayStation Store, and in the Xbox Games Store. It's stuff that's perhaps too piecemeal to be full-on DLC, though there's nothing saying that Creation Club couldn't put out stuff akin to Skyrim's Dragonborn, Hearthfire, and Dawnguard DLC, or Fallout 4's Automatron, Far Harbor, Nuka-World, or the various Workshop DLCs.

But Creation Club will likely start out a little smaller than that. The examples in the video for Fallout 4, for instance, show a Prototype Gauss Rifle for 500 credits, Modern Furniture Workshop Pack for 100 credits, a Modular Backpack for 500 credits, and—true to the very money-making meme that Bethesda itself started—"Horse Armor" for your Power Armor.

Is Creation Club paid mods? According to this Bethesda FAQ, no, Creation Club isn't paid mods. 

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. 

It goes on to say, most of the Creation Club content is created internally, at Bethesda, as well as with some external partners who have worked on Bethesda games, and some by external Creators—that's "Creators" with a capital C, if you didn't catch that. And all this is an important detail, an important clarification of the vetting process going into Creation Club. Every single thing that moves through Creation Club goes through a heavily tested Alpha, Beta, and Release process, further ensuring that your newly purchased Mud Crab Armor, for example, doesn't suddenly break the Survival Mode setting you downloaded last week. In other words, all Creation Club content is fully curated and compatible with the main game and official add-ons.

So this adds another interesting layer to all the ways Skyrim and Fallout 4 can keep receiving—and giving—more gameplay and gameplay features for years after their initial release. There's the game itself, that's one layer. Then there are official add-ons from Bethesda, like the season pass content. Then there are free mods, which are still happening. And now there's Creation Club, which adds a pay-for-content element to stuff made in-house, with Bethesda affiliates, and with approved outside Creators.

Since there was no word whatsoever on a new Elder Scrolls during this week's Bethesda E3 Conference, I suppose that means I'll have that much more money to drop on Creation Club content. I'm looking forward to the first stuff coming out of this new initiative, coming out this summer. I'm not opposed to kicking down a few dollars to people creating meaningful content for games that I love.