Bethesda announces Creation Club, which looks like a new paid mod system, maybe (updated)

Update: Okay, there's a website up for Creation Club, and with it, a FAQ that answers a few questions.

My main question, how do you get credits to spend on mods, is answered:

"Creation Club is available via in-game digital marketplaces in both Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition and purchased with Credits. Credits are available for purchase on PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam. Your Credits are transferable and can be used in both games on the same platform."

On the other hand, further down on the page, the FAQ asks itself if this is a paid mods system. The answer:

"No. 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. 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. We’ve looked at many ways to do “paid mods”, and the problems outweigh the benefits."

That, for me at least, raises another question. What? You purchase credits to spend on mods, but at the same time, it's not a paid mods system?

I suppose Bethesda is saying all existing mods will still be free, and all new mods that are not a part of Creation Club will be free. Only mods that are part of Creation Club will have to be purchased. I think it's a bit disingenuous to say Creation Club isn't a paid mod system. It is. You pay for mods. Therefore, it's a paid mod system. But rest assured, there will still be plenty of free mods as well.

As far as the creation part goes, the FAQ states that "Just like our own game developers, Creators are paid for their work and start receiving payment as soon as their proposal is accepted and through development milestones."

How it works is, each creator submits a pitch that goes through an approval process. The FAQ says "All content must be new and original. Once a concept is approved, a development schedule with Alpha, Beta and Release milestones is created. Creations go through our full development pipeline, which Creators participate in."

This sounds a bit like Ark's sponsored mod program that appeared back in February, at least in how the developers work with the modders to complete their mods and pay them a salary. The difference here being that Ark mods are downloadable even in the early stages and don't require players to purchase them. If you're interested in applying to Creation Club, here's the link.

We'll keep updating this story as we find out more.

Original Story: At Bethesda's E3 press conference on Sunday, something called Creation Club was announced. It's aimed at delivering new content for Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition, and the YouTube description reads as follows:

"Creation Club is a collection of all-new content for both Fallout 4 and Skyrim. It features new items, abilities, and gameplay created by Bethesda Games Studios and outside development partners including the best community creators. Creation Club content is fully curated and compatible with the main game and official add-ons."

That all sounds nice, but the trailer you can see above mentions using "credits to download" items like weapons, armor, and outfits. Is Bethesda making another move into paid mods?

We don't have much in the way of details yet, but we'll dig in to see what we can find. Creation Club, we're told, is coming this summer.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.