Can Mod Support be Better Than Official Updates?

Can player-made mods be better for a game than official updates?

I like to play my old games with mods, or modifications. Mods in the gaming world are player made content downloads that affect a game. They might change some models, add new items or levels, or just add an insane amount of content, like some of my favorite ones. Sadly, mods break or just stop working as the developers make the game. This is what I argue against. A developer, in my opinion, should either choose to support mods or support updates, there is no in between.

Before you say “Well obviously, the developer should update because mods are dumb!” or something, let me tell you about Starbound. I play Starbound very often and find it fun. It’s like a 2D No Man’s Sky. The thing is, I didn’t like the game until I discovered it’s Steam Workshop page. I think the game is fun now because it has an almost infinite amount of content now. Developers used to update the game, and I had to reset my saves from time to time, but they seemed to have stopped.

Bethesda has this thing called Creation Club where you can pay for mods Bethesda features. This seems fine if the money goes to the mod author and the mods were worth paying money for, but this is not the case. The mods are just “reskin” mods, that change one model of the game. These can be funny if they are free, like the Chicken Dragons mod for Skyrim, that replaces dragons with rubber chickens. I have my opinions on paid mods, but the ones that offer enough content that I actually want to keep playing them instead of checking them out for an hour.

I support paid mods, because it means the quality of mods will increase and the developers that make the game will have less incentive to update, or it will ruin the mod marketplace. Some mods can remain free, but the large mods like those classified under “DLC Size Mods” should be paid since they probably take a long time to make and the mod makers hardly make anything off ad revenue. Paid mods are fine if the mod is a quality mod, in my opinion.

“If the developer is updating the game and you want mods, why don’t you be patient and wait for the developer to add more content.” says some of the people who disagree with mod creators. The truth is, some stuff the developers will never add. If a game that is updating and adding new content now and then, like Starbound, keeps adding content, they will have a very, very, low chance of adding what you want. It’s less simple than the developers just adding content that people want. In Starbound, NPC crew won’t close doors behind them, and Chucklefish plans to keep that permanent, just like the feature where monsters can’t take fall damage. Plus some mods are just so weird (or dumb) that a game studio will never touch on that idea, like converting every dragon in Skyrim to a rubber chicken. It’s mods like this that define both why the modding community is a good thing for people who want to do more with games, and why nobody takes modding seriously

Modding helps “dead”, or games that don’t update, feel alive again or let gamers personalize their copy of the game. I think if a developer wants mod support, enable it after the game has stopped updating, so nobody’s mods break.