Whether or not The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim turns out to be the game we all hope it will be, the development team at Bethesda is doing everything they can to make it an important one. We've heard all about the importance of the console market to the developers with their upcoming game, and now Skyrim's executive producer has revealed that the team is already thinking of ways to bring PC-built mods to home consoles.
Whether you play a majority of your games on the PC or on a console, the community of modders has more than made their mark on the industry in numerous ways over the past few decades. From Defense of the Ancients to next-gen mods of Morrowind, a crafty army of PC gamers have demonstrated what kind of inspired content can be generated by the fans themselves, and Bethesda seems tired of leaving console gamers out of the action.
We know that Skyrim will be including mod tools for their new Creation Engine, the system created to deliver the unparalleled depth and fluid story of the game. But while the developers themselves can watch their handiwork come to life on the Xbox 360 and PS3, that is a joy that the PC mod community has never been able to experience.
Now, Skyrim's executive producer Todd Howard has voiced the team's plans for bringing those days to a close. Speaking with Next-Gen.biz, Howard made it clear that whether or not Skyrim bridges that gap between the PC and home consoles, the developer would like nothing more than to see it happen sooner rather than later:
“It works on all the consoles. As far as the 360 and PS3, right now there’s not an avenue for us to make that available, but we’d very much like to find a way. We have talked to Microsoft and Sony, and so there's a chance it might happen one day, [but] I don't see it happening for release.
“We'd like to see it happen, because it works, it's how we made the game. I think it's something really cool about what we do, but 90 per cent of our audience is on the consoles, so 90 per cent of our audience can't even see this thing. So if we can solve that we'd like to.”
It only makes sense that a game giving such a flattering portrayal of the Xbox 360 would like to bring as much game content as possible to the platform, and if Howard's estimates are accurate, any game developer would be wise to grant extra tools or additional missions to 90% of their customers, not just 10%.
With PlayStation 3 bringing Steam to their platform, and Valve voicing their plans to bring user-created Portal 2 missions to all platforms, Howard's comments merely voice what appears to be a growing sentiment. But the task is easier said than done, with two major corporations required to put past rivalries somewhat behind them for it to happen.
Do you think that Bethesda is right to try to bring mods to consoles, or is the phenomenon more at home in the PC community? Would you be likely to try out mods on your own system, or stick to the levels designed by the developer themselves?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be released on November 11, for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Hopefully mod support for consoles will follow before too long, but we wouldn't recommend you hold your breath.