A lot of college students like to fill what little free time they have with gaming. Some of those gamers like to modify, or “mod,” their games to change things up or give them more stuff to play with.
But one game development company is trying something that may change the way people mod games.
Bethesda Softworks, the developers of “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” and “Fallout 4,” recently released their new mod curation service, the Creation Club. The Creation Club was billed by Bethesda as a way for mod creators to get paid for their work.
Bethesda would be able to curate and vet the “Creations” to ensure they are completely compatible with all other Creations (so nothing crashes the game), and that they are top-tier, original content for “Skyrim” and “Fallout 4.” Sounds like a great idea, right?
Well, yes. It’s a great idea. But unfortunately for Bethesda, the Creation Club, in its current state at least, is pretty disappointing.
Let’s take “Fallout 4’s” current Creation Club content, since it’s what I have the most experience with and is currently what’s causing the most controversy.
Upon first use of the Creation Club, Bethesda gives you 100 free Credits, equivalent to $1 in real money, to spend on the Creations. As of now, the only things you can get for $1 or less on the Creation Club are $0.50 paint jobs for the Pip-Boy, the player character’s wrist-mounted computer, or one black redesign of the player’s power armor for $1.
Right from the start, if you want anything more than these basic cosmetic updates, you have to shell out some money, which is understandable. Bethesda has to turn a profit to keep sticking around, after all.
One of my problems with this is that there are only two things worth spending your hard-earned cash for. The first of these is the Modular Military Backpack for $4, which I find worth the money because it provides many new customization options for the backpack in-game, both cosmetically and functionally.
The other of these is the Modern Furniture Workshop Pack for $3, which gives you more furniture to place inside your in-game settlements. I think this one is worth paying for because the content is not only original, but it looks good.
However, the biggest problem for me is the issue of whether or not the Creation Club should be considered another attempt to get gamers to pay for mods that would otherwise be free.
On Bethesda’s website, they tell you that it isn’t an attempt at paid mods because “it must all be original content. Most of the Creation Club content is created internally, some with external partners who have worked on our games, and some by external Creators.”
That sounds great, but it isn’t entirely true. Take for instance, the Hellfire Power Armor for $5 or the Chinese Stealth Armor for $4, which are both on the Creation Club. The creations themselves may be “original” work, but the ideas for both aren’t. These mods are both free on NexusMods.com and are arguably of higher quality than the versions found on the Creation Club.
From the perspective of a broke college student, the choice is an easy one. For the price of the paid-for versions of the Chinese Stealth Armor or the Hellfire Power Armor, a broke college student could instead get a Big Mac or a quarter pounder meal from McDonald’s, respectively, for the same price.
In conclusion, the content that the Creation Club offers is simply not worth it, with the exception of two items. If you really want to support mod authors, consider donating to them after downloading their mods. It might just help another broke college student who enjoys making mods.
Trenton Busch is a junior in accounting. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to [email protected]