Today’s news, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, revealed that Sony is barring Fallout 4 mods and eventually Skyrim mods on their platform. This flies directly in the face of what Bethesda, the publisher of the two award-winning games, has been saying since the announcement of console mod support at E3 2015.
Originally it was announced to be implemented on the Xbox One, but Bethesda made sure to mention that they weren’t leaving PlayStation 4 fans behind. And for those who remember the problems Bethesda had servicing their PlayStation customers during the Skyrim DLC era, that goes a long way to creating consumer trust. However, the fact remained: No one ever knew when the mods would hit Sony’s console.
Well, now we know: never — or at least not in the way they are intended to work today. This isn’t a move being done because the technology isn’t there — it very obviously is when the mods can run on the decidedly less powerful Xbox One. It’s not even a move where an exclusivity agreement is barring the introduction of mods to another platform. It’s the platform holder directly denying their own customers access to a much sought after and heralded feature.
Fallout 4 mods are literally being denied to users for reasons unknown. Kotaku speculated on the reasoning, given the original disagreement was due to a file size limit: 900mb to the Xbox One’s 2GB limit. It could have more to do with control, which Bethesda themselves allude to in their statement. Sony would have no control over the content being placed on the Bethesda mod manager. While Bethesda themselves would curate the mods to make sure they fell within the parameters of what a Fallout 4 console mod could support, Sony would not have any control over what is being downloaded onto the system.
Mods have always been a “use at your own risk” proposition. Anyone who denies this doesn’t understand modding. PC mods have entirely altered games, and sometimes for the better. Skyrim is a game that released in 2011 and is as relevant today as it was then due to mods. Enderal, a fan-made full conversion mod, was released on PC recently, and it fundamentally makes Skyrim a whole new game. There is nothing like watching a “Macho Man Randy Savage” Dragon soar the skies or seeing what type of deadly weapons the Fallout 4 community can come up with next. Mods make games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim better, and definitely add to the longevity of the game. What this can translate into is more people spending more time playing a game on your platform, which is exactly what Sony should want.
The fallout from the community has been less than pleasant.
— Zach Gonser (@zachyzissou) September 9, 2016
— Matthew Bukovicky (@DJ_Mateusz) September 9, 2016
— Tubasplat (@Tubasplat) September 9, 2016
— Leon Bellsprout (@LeonBellsprout) September 9, 2016
— Jonathan Garner (@NSFWJonathan) September 9, 2016
What we have is a company directly denying content parity on their platform while uttering no reason as to why. In effect, Sony is axing any possibility of losing control over content being placed onto their system. Consoles are closed ecosystems. For content providers to even patch their games they must go through a lengthy and convoluted certification processes. It’s why PC patches for the same game can sometimes hit that platform weeks ahead of their console counterpart.
With mods, Sony may have no control over the curation of the content being put onto the platform, which means they cannot guarantee to their customers that it won’t break their console. Fallout 4 and eventually Skyrim mods do possess the chance of them not playing nice together. However, disclaimers all over the place — and general common sense — would dictate that the risk for Fallout 4 modding is in the consumer’s hands and not the platform developer.
What Sony is doing, especially by being silent, is making their console the less appealing place to play. For someone who is excited about console mods, Sony has hamstrung themselves, as now there is only one place to go for them on consoles. Fallout 4 mods won’t necessarily sell a system, but Microsoft will undoubtedly use this ammo when Skyrim releases on the platform later this fall.
For those looking to mod the legendary game, PC and Xbox One are the only places to do so, and all because Sony denied their consumers that ability. I reached out to Sony for comment to explain their side of the situation, though, as of the time of this writing, they have yet to reply.
Hopefully, Sony will come to their senses and get this situation sorted in time for the Skyrim release on PlayStation 4. Fallout 4 modding has become a de facto Xbox One console exclusive now, something I’m sure Sony does not want to happen. Unfortunately, until they start to allow Fallout 4 mods onto their platform, they are just handing more fuel to fire the Microsoft PR machine, something that could come to hurt the Japanese company in the long run.
Are you a PlayStation 4 owner who was looking forward to Fallout 4 mods? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via Bethesda]