After the reveal of Fallout 76, rumors and leaks came out of the woodworks, saying that the game was not a traditional Bethesda RPG and that it was an online game similar to Ark and Rust. However, more recent rumors have pulled back on the online focus, instead suggesting that the singleplayer portion of the game is still at the forefront of the experience, but that you can bring friends along with you for the survival ride. That certainly sounds better, but now other concerns have sprung up from a recent rumor.
The source of the rumor is shown in the above video, which is all I can give you because the source post has since been deleted. But let me give you the short version: Bethesda is scrambling because their afraid the rumors will paint a negative image of the game and send hype in the wrong direction, and they will be killing off outside modding, restricting mods to only the Creation Club.
That last part is what makes me think “RIP Bethesda.” The modding community has been the lifeblood of every Bethesda Game Studio’s title, and Bethesda themselves have championed modding for quite a long time, inspiring other developers, such as Square Enix, to jump on the bandwagon. The vast majority of mods come from Nexus Mods, a site that hosts thousands upon thousands of mods for just about every game under the sun, though mostly Bethesda titles. All mods on Nexus are free, though you are given the option to donate to the mod authors.
This was, of course, done in response to Bethesda and Valve’s initial attempt to implement paid modding, which failed spectacularly due in no small part to mods being stolen from the Nexus and uploaded to the Steam Workshop for a profit. Popular modders even went so far as to remove their mods from Nexus and reupload them onto the Steam Workshop as paid mods, leading to outrage from the community, which was in turn met with outrage from the mod authors who felt they have a right to be paid for their hard work... on someone elses game.
In response to that disaster, Bethesda went to work planning their second attempt at paid modding. This attempt materialized during E3 2017. As part of the rules, mod authors could not upload pre-existing mods to the Creation Club for sale, meaning mods that were once free would not suddenly need to be paid for. The content on the platform would also be curated to some degree, meaning that not just anything could get on the Creation Club. In the time since its launch, I haven’t heard much about it, which tells me that not many people have flocked to the program, either as mod authors or buyers.
And now, according to this latest rumor, Bethesda now intends to force users to run all their mods, paid or free, through the Creation Club and outside modding from sites like Nexus Mods, will be cut off. The supposed reasoning that Bethesda intends to try and sell people on is that it’s due to security concerns, largely stemming from stolen mods, and because of adult modding.
Now, let me tell you why that’s all BS.
Prior to Bethesda’s attempts at making paid mods a thing, they never gave a damn about what modders did. If someone stole a modders work and put it up on another site, Bethesda didn’t care, not their problem. Bethesda made it their problem by trying to get people to move to these catered platforms they’ve set up. NOW they care. It wasn’t their problem before they willingly made it their problem by bringing these mods to the Creation Club, and now their solution is to apparently completely cut off mods from anywhere that isn’t their own platform. A platform, I might add, that no one was all that interested in using. You can’t force people to do what you want. You gave modders the world and now you’re trying to stuff them into a box and limit them. Real smart Bethesda.
And then there’s the subject of adult mods. Whether you like them or not, they exist, but are a relatively small corner of the overall modding community. They’ve been around for a long time, since at least The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in 2006 if not longer on other games. Back then, Bethesda did have a bit of an issue when adult mods led to the ESRB re-rating Oblivion from M to AO, causing it to be pulled from store shelves because no one will sell an AO rated game. Eventually this decision was reversed, but adult mods have still been sort of the black sheep of the modding community. They’re their if you want them, on their own special little site that you never have to visit if you don’t want too, and they aren’t hurting anyone. It’s just part of the freedom of modding and Bethesda hasn’t said a word about their existence in over a decade. And now, all of a sudden, adult mods are a concern for them? No, they’re only a concern because the Creation Club is a curated platform to begin with, and since mods can be on Xbox and PlayStation as well(If they meet certain criteria), adult mods naturally would be out of the question. While Bethesda no longer cares that they exist, it doesn’t mean they’d officially endorse them either. However, coming out and publicly saying that adult mods are partially responsible for the move to a closed platform is just ludicrous. It would cause a rift in the modding community, turning them on each other and having one side blame the other for the loss of their freedom, that’s a dick move on Bethesda’s part no matter how you look at it. Not only that, but Bethesda has often praised the creativity of the modding community over the years, and yet a move like this would only serve to stifle that creativity as not everything would be allowed on the Creation Club and certain ideas would now be completely taboo.
Now, this all based on a rumor, which naturally should be taken with a lot of salt, but when multiple sources corroborated the original information, that this specific person leaked way before anyone else, gotta give them the benefit of the doubt. And Bethesda has been pretty damn silent with all these rumors floating about rather than trying to squash them, which makes me think there’s definitely some truth to them and Bethesda just doesn’t want to acknowledge them until they’re ready for their full reveal. While they played the Rage 2 leak for laughs, that was ultimately a positive leak. This, on the other hand, all of it, has been negative press for Fallout 76, and so when the leaker says Bethesda is in panic mode, worrying about the potential damage these rumors could have caused, I believe them. This latest one, which likely won’t be picked up many news outlets, would definitely not be something they want getting out before they’ve rehearsed their scripts and made their pitches, because having prior knowledge means they’ve lost the advantage and can’t play people for fools. Though, no matter the reasoning they gave on stage, I can only imagine hearing “boo” rather than “yay” from the crowd.
So please Bethesda, don’t let this be real.