One of the biggest reasons to play video games on a PC rather than a home console like the Xbox One or PS4 is the ability to implement mods, which are user-created modifications that can enhance or change an existing game.
Sometimes these mods make a game prettier, add new weapons, or do something hilarious — like replace all of the dragons in “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” with Thomas the Tank Engine.
Mods can greatly extend the amount of time a player spends with a game, because they can continually download new user-created features for it long after its developer has moved on. Until recently, only those who played games on PCs were able to download these mods.
Since May, players of the open-world, post-apocalyptic game “Fallout 4” have been able to download mods on the Xbox One, much to the delight of console players who looked longingly at their PC counterparts doing the same.
It was always the goal of Bethesda, who makes “Fallout 4,” to bring these mods to both Xbox One and PS4. However, early Friday, Bethesda announced it would not be able to bring these mods to those playing “Fallout 4” on PS4.
So, who’s to blame? Bethesda says it’s Sony.
In a blog post, Bethesda said, “After months of discussion with Sony, we regret to say that while we have long been ready to offer mod support on PlayStation 4, Sony has informed us they will not approve user mods the way they should work: where users can do anything they want for either Fallout 4 or Skyrim Special Edition.”
Interestingly, Andrew House, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, says the development of the recently unveiled PlayStation 4 Pro was part of a bid to entice PC gamers into the PlayStation ecosystem.
“I saw some data that really influenced me,” he said in an interview with The Guardian. “It suggested that there’s a dip mid-console life cycle where the players who want the very best graphical experience will start to migrate to PC, because that’s obviously where it’s to be had. We wanted to keep those people within our eco-system by giving them the very best and very highest [performance quality]. So the net result of those thoughts was PlayStation 4 Pro — and, by and large, a graphical approach to game improvement.”
In that regard, Sony’s decision to not implement mods for “Fallout 4” and Bethesda’s forthcoming “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition” thwarts some of the progress it may have made in terms of enticing PC gamers. If a PC gamer is looking to buy a console, they might pick the Xbox One instead, which has allowed for mods since May.
At the end of its blog post, Bethesda promises to provide updates “if and when this situation changes.”