Bethesda's new Creation Club initiative has been utterly demolished by players, with gamers across the globe lambasting the publisher for being "greedy" and dismantling the "it's not paid mods" argument left and right.
I had hopes for the Creation Club: not only was it a way for Bethesda to earn money in a microtransaction-esque monetization path while providing more content and subsequent value to games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim, the service launched with an almost insultingly bad level of content. We've gone over the major problems with the Creation Club's value, worth, and pricing scheme here, but gamers aren't just disappointed, they're outright up in arms. Bethesda, who famously tried to institute paid mods on Steam and was utterly burned by unanimous pushback from the PC gaming community, is opening those old wounds anew, and they're starting to fester already.
Across Reddit alone I've seen thousands of gamers post their impressions on the Creation Club, and the overwhelming majority of them absolutely disapprove of the service. Bethesda originally sold the service as a way for big mod-makers to sell their creations in a secure environment, offering big slices of content alongside smaller weapons and armor modifications. But despite promises of change and potential, the service launched with an embarrassing offering of content that's not only available for free via mod services, but includes ridiculous additions like Pip-boy paintjobs that cost $0.50 a pop. Right now the Creation Club is a mess and needs more high-quality content, and gamers have made up their mind about the service.
Note: The following impressions, information, and comments were made on the Fallout 4 Creation Club storefront in its beta form. The service may--and likely will--change over time and is not set in stone.
- For the love of God, DON'T BUY BETHESDA CREATION CLUB POINTS! - 6,884 upvotes
- For the good of ALL PC Gaming, please DO NOT support Bethesda Creation Club - 14,399 upvotes
Gamers have started up a Change.org petition calling for Bethesda to abolish the Creation Club, and at the time of writing, it has almost 2000 signatures.
"I expected more, I expected better, I got piece-meal microtransaction. Not only is this stuff disappointing it's also over priced," wrote another Redditor.
One of the biggest worries is that Bethesda's Creation Club simply won't offer any bigger DLC content because of the limitations of the new ESL file, which the Creation Club content is based off of.
"According to someone on the discord, we won't see any dlc sized mods in CC. The file format can only go to 4000 records. For perspective, Horse Power Armor is 300, while Automatron is 50000. (Please feel free to tell me if this is wrong or incorrect in any way, I'm going off memory)," a user speculated on Reddit.
The same user found 9 out of the Creation Club's 12 currently available offerings resemble free mods made by content creators on Nexus Mods. Essentially it appears as if Bethesda is trying to profit from content that strongly resembles other users' work.
Side note: Beta Creation Club content is automatically downloaded to players' hard drives with an update, and the purchases simply unlock access to the ESL files. Users have successfully extracted the ESL files and uploaded them for free online. It remains to be seen in this procedure is restricted to the beta test, or will be implemented in the final version on PC.
"The Hellfire Armor is an insult to the person that made the original mod. Same goes for the Chinese Stealth Suit, by the same mod author. Their version is on bethesda.net, and is far superior to the CC version.
For the record, it's been confirmed that the CC versions are NOT by the same person," wrote a Redditor.
We've reached out to Bethesda regarding these issues and will update the content if and when we receive word.
What mod authors are saying about Creation Club
"A developer infamous for letting us fix their games will then be charging you fun-bucks for the privilege of having a complete game," read a purported mod-maker on Reddit.
"I think this sets a dangerous precedence for developers triple dipping, all in the name of "rewarding content creators". Double whammy because people can then accuse you of being against supporting mod authors if you don't like the idea of paying 3 times for a complete experience. It's the perfect cover."
Here's what another mod author said about Bethesda's Creation Club's partnership initiative--the very thing that justified the service in the first place.
I'm Recluse, author of 50 Ways to Die at Dr. Nick's and co-author of Fusion City Rising and Outcasts & Remnants, all reasonably large Fallout 4 quest mods that were voted first or second place in File of the Month on Nexus.
I wanted to give you some additional info, if you're interested.
I applied to Creation Club shortly after the E3 announcement and included links to my body of work. Bethesda has yet to even respond to me in any way.
I certainly have no idea regarding their vetting process for applicants, however, the complete lack of response, along with the current list of available Creation Club content, suggests to me that they have little interest in the large project quest centered content that seems like the kind of stuff people might actually be interested in paying for.
I don't expect I have the kind of name recognition of modders like Trainwiz or Elianora, but I do have well over a million downloads on the Nexus, including three Fallout 4 quest mods that have received a good bit of attention from users.
I suspect the Creation Club business model is aimed mainly at PS4 players and will consist of sucking money out of console users a couple of dollars at a time using nickel and dime impulse buys like new armors, weapons, or other items, and maybe use some of their lower tier in-house modelers and texturers to crank the stuff out by the barrel full, while adding a few independent modders with name recognition to provide a veneer of modding credibility.
Anyway, that's my perspective so far, make of it what you will.
Wrap-Up: A PR nightmare is here, but Bethesda can make this right
Gamers are upset, and mod-makers are quite dubious. Bethesda needs to jump in right away and promise change--and make it happen--or gamers will simply overrun the service and the company will have to deal with yet another PR nightmare as the flames of the paid modding war are ignited once more.
Despite all of this disdain and worry, I still stand by the statements I made yesterday, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned.
"It's worth noting that the following values were taken from the Creation Club beta test within Fallout 4 on PC, and I strongly believe the studio will continually update and evolve the storefront over time. This is just the beginning, and we can expect lots more sales, cross-overs, and other content to fill out the storefront in the coming weeks."
"Bethesda is making a big push with this monetized storefront, and even if the core marketplace simply isn't very popular and is totally overshadowed by free mods, the studio won't give up on it--this is Bethesda's way to monetize Skyrim, Fallout 4 and future BGS titles in a meaningful way to ultimately pull in long-term revenues. Expect more value-oriented content to come in the future."
Creation Club Pricing Model
- 750 Creation Club credits - $7.99 | 94 credits per $1 spent
- 1500 Creation Club credits - $14.99 | 100 credits per $1 spent
- 3000 Creation Club credits - $24.99 | 120 credits per $1 spent
- 5500 Creation Club credits - $39.99 | 137.5 credits per $1 spent
Creation Club Storefront Selection - Fallout 4 (PC)
Note: Pricing conversions are estimates based off of the 1500 CC pack tier ratio.
- Hellfire Power Armor - 500 credits | ~$5
- Prototype Gauss Rifle - 400 credits | ~$4
- Modular Military Backpack - 400 credits | ~$4
- Chinese Stealth Armor - 400 credits | ~$4
- Morgan Yu's Space Suit (Prey crossover) - 400 credits | ~$4
- Modern Furniture Pack - 300 credits | ~$3
- Horse Power Armor - 250 credits | ~$2.50
- Handmade Shotgun - 200 credits | ~$2.50
- Power Armor Onyx Paint Job - 100 credits | ~$1.00
- 3x Pip-Boy Paint Jobs - 50 credits each | ~$0.50