If there’s one major difference between consoles and PCs, it’s the ability to easily acquire user-generated content. For The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, this has proven no different, but on a monumental scale.
Bethesda Studios has announced that there have been over 13.6 million Steam Workshop downloads for free modifications of Skyrim, which is an impressive number even before considering how many gamers have downloaded the modifications outside of the Workshop itself. It’s certainly an exciting time for fans of Skyrim, with Bethesda today announcing a long-awaited MMO set in the The Elder Scrolls universe, just days after the official announcement of Dawnguard, Skyrim‘s first DLC.
Of course, this isn’t the first time console gamers have been left in the dust as far as user-created content goes – especially with Bethesda. Having released the GECK (Garden of Eden Creation Kit) for Fallout 3, there’s now a plethora of downloads ranging from simple gameplay tweaks to entirely new landscapes. The same phenomenon is true of Oblivion and Morrowind, which still have active PC modding communities.
The Skyrim Creation Kit proved extremely popular in its first week, and it’s clear to see that the popularity hasn’t died down since. As fans craft custom content for the game, it becomes easily available to members who use Steam, or alternatively seeking hosted files on the Skyrim Nexus, the largest unofficial modification community.
It goes without saying that even if Microsoft somehow found a way to safely implement an alternative to the Steam Workshop for console gamers, there would be more than a few major concerns. Managing multiple mods at once can lead to programming errors and essentially break the game.
Viruses in the files. Inappropriate content being shown to users. The size of console hard-drives. While it simply doesn’t seem feasible, sometimes you just have to sit back and dream of a utopian DLC system. For now, though, those looking to build or download many modifications should always purchase the PC edition of the game if their systems can handle it.
What do you think about the impressive amount of downloads? If you’re a console gamer, do you wish a system was created so you could enjoy it as well?
Until this problem is solved for consoles, players will have to resort to the internet for some of Skyrim‘s most breath-taking mods.
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