Take heart, friends, it's only a matter of time before Starfield gets fishing. Why? Because Todd Howard has re-confirmed Bethesda's commitment to making the game's galaxy a big, blank canvas for modders to paint their dreams on, and hinted that the studio will be heavily involving itself in the modding process.
Chatting with the Kinda Funny Xcast, Howard was asked how excited he was about Starfield's scope for modding. Unsurprisingly, given that Bethesda's games have been synonymous with modding for decades at this point, his answer was effusive. "I think Starfield is gonna be kind of a modder's paradise," said Howard, "it's part of our DNA here, we've been doing it for over 20 years".
Howard has confirmed that Starfield will be moddable before—and given Bethesda's history, it'd be far weirder if the game wasn't open to player tinkering—but he's really emphasising Bethesda's involvement this time. "It's important for us not just to enable [modding], but to participate," said Howard. Bethesda wants to "make it easy for [modders], to make this where they can make it not just a hobby but a career".
Well, that's interesting. Of course, it could just be the case that Howard is effectively confirming the return of the Creation Club system from Skyrim and Fallout 4—a paid mods system that Bethesda implemented in its games after its (and Valve's) first paid mods system went down like the Hindenburg—but it sounds like something more to me.
Might we see Bethesda and Microsoft try their luck with another open mod market like the original Steam Workshop paid mods system again? I've reached out to the company for details, and I'll update this piece if I hear back.
Either way, prepare for some buckwild space mods. The Starfield community is abuzz with anticipation after Howard talked up the game's modding capabilities. "God bless Bethesda," said a Reddit user named Rat_Salat, "even when they fuck up. They're the last of the good ones, I swear". "Everyone liked that," said redryan1989.
Some users have the same questions I do about Bethesda's involvement. "I’m cautiously intrigued by BGS 'participating'" said logicality77, "I hope it’s in enabling modders through tools, training, support, and maybe even an open marketplace".
Another user, 1daytogether, almost seems more excited for the mods than the base game: "I can't wait to come back to this game in 5 years and find old planets completely remodeled," they said, "Gigantic new cities on every planet, cities in space, all sorts of weird new cosmic horrors, AI voiced new companions with infinite dialogue, Vanquish style rocket knee combat, and every sci fi property that ever existed in its own corner of the map". Well, there's some ideas to get you going, modders. Chop chop.
They've got more imagination than ol' Todd Howard when it comes to the mods people might make. The Starfield game director says he "just cannot imagine" what people will do with the game. I can, Todd: Thomas the Tank Engine and nude character models. Possibly both at once.