Bethesda announced the Creation Club for Skyrim and Fallout 4 earlier this summer as a compromise response to the furious backlash against the paid mods scheme that Valve (very briefly) attempted to roll out in 2015. The idea is that "mods will remain a free and open system," but Creation Club content will require "credits," which must be purchased with "money," making the whole thing basically a matter of semantics: When is a paid mod not a paid mod? When it's in the Creation Club, apparently.
None of which necessarily makes it a bad idea—in fact, we noted at the time that paid mods might actually make things better for everyone— and I don't think it's unreasonable to treat mods the same way as games: Some are free, some aren't, and you can govern yourselves accordingly. All of which is a very roundabout way of getting to the point that the Creation Club is now live, in beta at the moment but slated to go into full release sometime today, for Fallout 4, with Skyrim set to follow next month.
"Featuring 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, official add-ons, and achievements," Bethesda said. "Currently available for Fallout 4, Creation Club will be coming to Skyrim Special Edition next month. All Creation Club content works on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. And of course, Mods will remain a free and open system where anyone can create and share what they’d like."
To ease potential customers into the new system, Bethesda is giving 100 credits to everyone to blow on whatever they like. Alas, that won't get you much: The Club currently offers three Pip-boy paint jobs for 50 credits each, or an Onyx power armor paint job for 100. For anything else you'll need to spring for more credits, which can be purchased through Steam at prices ranging from $8 for 750 to $40 for 5500. Credits are transferable between Steam and Xbox Live, but not PSN.
Creation Club content is accessible through its own category on the Fallout 4 menu, so you'll need to update your game to get it, and an account at bethesda.net is also required. While it's in beta, you'll have to opt in under the "Betas" tab in the Fallout 4 properties menu, but once it's live (which it may well be by the time you read this) it'll be rolled out to everyone via a normal update. More information, including a signup link for interested creators, is up at creationclub.bethesda.net.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.