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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Skyrim - Mods on Console Versions?

Default Skyrim - Mods on Console Versions?

April 19th, 2011, 23:17
I haven't made it through the avalanche of Skyrim previews from the other day so this might already be out there but Next Gen is highlighting comments from Todd Howard about mod content on consoles. To be absolutely clear, Todd says there are barriers and it isn't likely at release but the console versions are compatible with mods - if XBL and PSN would distribute them. He also specifies consoles are "90% of our audience", for those interested in such things:
“It works on all the consoles,” he said. “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.”
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April 19th, 2011, 23:17
That would be neat if they can work it out… some kind of "make on PC, export to console" system like Unreal Tournament 3 used on PS3. I doubt Microsoft would ever let them do such a thing though.

As for the "90%" comment, which I am sure will rile some feathers, I doubt he is wrong. Fallout: New Vegas sold like 4-5 million copies right away and I read somewhere 300,000 or so of them were on the PC. That's less than 10%, and a pretty small share honestly. It's a shame… I love PC gaming and will support it forever… but it is a fact of life at this point that the consoles are where most people prefer to game.
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April 19th, 2011, 23:27
Actually most PC sales figures don't even include digital downloads and sites like Steam don't even publish their sales figures. You can't trust any PC sales figures for games especially with how they treat PC games in stores like Gamestop.

PS. I don't really care about mods on consoles and it probably won't work out anyways since most mods won't work on consoles either because they are to much for consoles or require SRSE to work.
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April 19th, 2011, 23:33
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
.

As for the "90%" comment, which I am sure will rile some feathers, I doubt he is wrong. Fallout: New Vegas sold like 4-5 million copies right away and I read somewhere 300,000 or so of them were on the PC. That's less than 10%, and a pretty small share honestly. It's a shame… I love PC gaming and will support it forever… but it is a fact of life at this point that the consoles are where most people prefer to game.
The optimist in me says that the PC gaming market/player base will rebound a bit as gaming rigs become more and more affordable. A lot of console gamers are still under the false impression that in order to have a strong gaming computer, one must spend hundreds of dollars each year in order to keep it near the top of the line. This is no longer true, and while some PC gamers lament the lack of progress with graphics and tech recently, I for one am extremely glad that they aren't pushing that side of games as much anymore. Graphics currently are more than good enough for my tastes, and not only do I care far more about gameplay than how a game looks, but I am happy that my current gaming computer (which wasn't extremely expensive) will probably last me 5+ years.
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April 20th, 2011, 00:03
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
Actually most PC sales figures don't even include digital downloads and sites like Steam don't even publish their sales figures. You can't trust any PC sales figures for games especially with how they treat PC games in stores like Gamestop.
If I recall correctly the 300,000 figure was from Bethesda themselves, which included all sales. I'm sure that number has grown by now, and even 300,000 means 15 million bucks when you do the math, but at the end of the day you concentrate on the platforms you get the most money from and that's been the Xbox for 5 years now.

What I do find odd is that Dragon Age and Valve's games sell significantly more on the PC percentage wise. That means there are a lot of people out there who have gaming PCs and buy some games on the PC, but choose to buy Bethesda games on the Xbox. That's kind of odd, since Bethesda games are remarkably better on the PC.
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April 20th, 2011, 00:07
It would be nice to see consoles get mods but I have to say what is he smoking. People would have to pay for them on psn or the xbox they wont be free. As for the 90% mark is anybody surprised. Every kid and teenager I know owns a console and most laugh at me for playing pcgames. As much as I hate it the userbase is larger and its where the moneys at. Nothing is stopping company's from making ports they just dont want to.

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April 20th, 2011, 01:29
People would have to pay for them on psn or the xbox they wont be free.
There are free mappacks and other free downloads for games out there for the consoles - though they do represent a slim minority of the content for obvious reasons. What would have to be paid for is the hosting and distribution, the lack of a deal for that at this time is why it would make sense not to have the option at release.

If hosted and distrubuted by PSN or Live! it is unlikely they would have a complete selection of all mods out there but rather I think they'd have to come up with a partnership with a popular mod site so that their top 10 lists are made availible. Even then that would probably be limited by content type (nude mods = political firestorm.)

I wonder though if they would consider allowing the game to import mods off of usb keys or a shared network drive. That would bypass the Live! and PSN issues but that is also a reason why I would not think MS or Sony would be cooperative with it. So yeah there's huge shortcomings and obstacles to the idea of supported mod capability for the console versions.

At the same time though if it does happen it will be very good for the PC market for the game. People may buy the PC versions simply to be able to create mods for the console - and they might also find out they may as well play it on the PC.
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April 20th, 2011, 01:47
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
There are free mappacks and other free downloads for games out there for the consoles - though they do represent a slim minority of the content for obvious reasons. What would have to be paid for is the hosting and distribution, the lack of a deal for that at this time is why it would make sense not to have the option at release.

If hosted and distrubuted by PSN or Live! it is unlikely they would have a complete selection of all mods out there but rather I think they'd have to come up with a partnership with a popular mod site so that their top 10 lists are made availible. Even then that would probably be limited by content type (nude mods = political firestorm.)

I wonder though if they would consider allowing the game to import mods off of usb keys or a shared network drive. That would bypass the Live! and PSN issues but that is also a reason why I would not think MS or Sony would be cooperative with it. So yeah there's huge shortcomings and obstacles to the idea of supported mod capability for the console versions.

At the same time though if it does happen it will be very good for the PC market for the game. People may buy the PC versions simply to be able to create mods for the console - and they might also find out they may as well play it on the PC.
I think that they might not allow new textures, models or audio. This would cut down on the size of the mods (which has an effect on server space, bandwidth and console disk space).

Another problem is that they would need official reviewers who scour the mods for objectional material. Both the moral aswell as data conflicting and breaking the main game.

And as said before, unless they incorperated some of the tools designed by modders into the creation engine I don't see how some mods would work.

My guess is that only mods using vanilla assets and vanilla mod tools will technically work when converted to console.
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April 20th, 2011, 03:28
Won't happen.

Edit- this is just some marketing blather to get the hardcore gamer crowd hyped up a little and buzz about on web forums like this. Microsoft will never allow anything like actual Mods… If anything, there might be some player-made adventures or simple add-ons released you have to pay to download. Microsoft will scrub and check the hell out of any little thing that comes out on its system, and they might use the term "mod" to sell the idea of the expandability of the game, but there will never be a bunch of mods like you see for PC.

By the way, 90% or more of the console players won't care at all.*

*I played Oblivion on the Xbox because my computer was crap and I was a 36 year old guy who hadn't played a video game in many years. So to me, Oblivion was amazing on the Xbox.
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April 20th, 2011, 03:37
I could see it as possible on PS3, but completely impossible on Xbox. Microsoft would never, ever allow unrestricted content like that. Ever.
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April 20th, 2011, 03:59
Based on doomsday figures like this, I wonder how well The Witcher 2 is going to sell?
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April 20th, 2011, 04:10
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
Based on doomsday figures like this, I wonder how well The Witcher 2 is going to sell?
First one sold 1.5 millions copies. PC only.
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April 20th, 2011, 04:40
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
Based on doomsday figures like this, I wonder how well The Witcher 2 is going to sell?
PC exclusives can still sell very well. Crysis, for all their bitching, sold like 3 million copies. Starcraft 2 sold 2 million in like a week. Dragon Age sold quite a lot on PC.

For whatever reason a lot of people with a gaming PC choose to get Bethesda games on console.
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April 20th, 2011, 05:00
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
PC exclusives can still sell very well. Crysis, for all their bitching, sold like 3 million copies. Starcraft 2 sold 2 million in like a week. Dragon Age sold quite a lot on PC.

For whatever reason a lot of people with a gaming PC choose to get Bethesda games on console.
Probably because the minimum requirements and there usual bugs on the pc. Look at there last three games. Still after the patches the games run better. Then again you see all the glitches and bugs on the consoles to. As for TW2 it will sell around two million and that's just my guess.

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April 20th, 2011, 05:14
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
If I recall correctly the 300,000 figure was from That means there are a lot of people out there who have gaming PCs and buy some games on the PC, but choose to buy Bethesda games on the Xbox. That's kind of odd, since Bethesda games are remarkably better on the PC.
They are also a pain in the ass to get working decently in my experience. And I say this as someone who very much likes the series, has played all the games and even modded for them.

I enjoy them but honestly for me doing all the ini tweaking and then making sure the mods play nice with each other and the drivers run the game okay and I get HDR and AA at the same time etc etc is just a headache. Not to mention the last couple of ES games ran like ass for the most part on all but the top of the line PCs. Yet baffingly, some people with moderate to low end systems reported decent performance while others with higher end systems reported poor performance.

It was all very inconsistent and the user experience seemed to vary wildly based on ones specific configuration. Many times I have thought I should have just gotten the XBox version, even knowing that I couldn't use or create mods. I also have pondered reinstalling those games but stopped myself many times because I just did not feel like dealing with the headache of getting them running the way I want. I am not exaggerating when I say it would take me days of configuring, tweaking, experimenting etc etc.

Of course I attribute most if not all of this to the Gamebryo engine, which Skyrim mercifully does not use. I recently got Divinity 2: Dragon Knight Saga (another Gamebryo game) and noticed jaggies out the wazoo. AA is broken. There's some way to get it working but you have to jump through hoops and it doesn't work with the latest version of my video drivers since you need to use a 3rd party program that's meant for specific driver versions. Ah, Gamebryo.
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April 20th, 2011, 05:57
He's manipulating the numbers, those console's are 90% include rentals and as mentioned don't include digital content download figures. Not to mention he's adding two different console systems which require different developments and kits. It would be like claiming anything that uses a Processor is a PC and actually ALL the sales go under PC.

Since he knows better, he's intentionally lying about it, so it has to be a ploy, possibly to deflect flack from console gamers, finding out the truth consoles are cheap cause they are crappy. They had a deal with Oblivion where m$ required them to make it console exactly like the PC version. NOW they don't have that requirement.

Also remember between todd and pete there have been some serious lies coming out of their mouths, especially since the days of Oblivion. Remember how they hid inside Oblivion gates. They said because they didn't want to spoil the best part of the game(not a direct quote, going from memory).

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April 20th, 2011, 08:43
He's manipulating the numbers, those console's are 90% include rentals and as mentioned don't include digital content download figures.
Cynicism and doubt are all well and good, but your presumptions may not be justified.

While NPD had mostly excluded content distributed by download in their estimates, VGChartz did not at least as of 2010. They partnered with FADE (which tracks various digitial distribution channels including Steam) and have included their data in their lifetime estimates for games sold that year. While their methodology is based partially on estimates based on statistical sampling, this does include actual end user sampling.

They estimate total lifetime pc sales to be .61 million, ps3 sales to be 1.67 million and xbox 360 sales to be 2.2 million. Their estimates, similar to the NPD derived estimates and the rough percentages referred to in the interview, calculate console sales make up roughly 86-87% of total sales. The total console sales estimated by VChartz do are lower than those referenced elsewhere as they do not tend to include rental copies in their sampling. They seek data regarding end user purchases rather than total units shipped.

A few minutes of googling can find this as well as estimates of steamworks sales figures. Feel free to keep hating them but they don't always lie; particularly not when they don't actually need to.
Last edited by jhwisner; April 20th, 2011 at 08:52. Reason: i
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April 20th, 2011, 09:02
Would be a huge stone in the PC players' garden because what are PC players going to boast about?

The question though for me is to know how to developp mods from a console. This could mean top notch construction sets.
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April 20th, 2011, 09:33
ROFL…they'll still look like shit compared to the PC version.
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April 20th, 2011, 09:56
Whether or not consoles will get access to mods, it won't be like the PC scene for the Xbox 360.

The flexibility just isn't there - and there's no way they can put the necessary infrastructure in place just for Skyrim, or a few others.

The whole thing would require a special setup with download/approval/non-hacks and whatever.

Besides, many of the mods require special software to run on the PC written to take advantage of special routines. The graphics mods obviously won't work either.

I'm sure he's sincere when he says he wants it, but he's obviously overlooking how unrealistic it really is. So, either he's more stupid than he seems - or he's being deceitful.
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