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Mods have long been a deeply rooted aspect of Bethesda’s fan culture, from wholesale recreations of old Bethesda games using modern graphics technology, to funny alterations like replacing dragons with Thomas the Tank Engine. Modding Bethesda games was exclusively the province of PC gaming until Bethesda at E3 2015 announced that Fallout 4 on consoles would receive mod support.
The assumption among fans was that both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Fallout 4 would be included in this initiative. Fallout 4 mods for Xbox One went live in June (here’s our curated list of the best early mods), but mods for the PlayStation 4 version had been delayed. Now, it seems they’ve been canceled entirely.
“After months of discussion with Sony,” Bethesda announced on its blog, “we regret to say that while we have long been ready to offer mod support on PlayStation 4, Sony has informed us they will not approve user mods the way they should work: where users can do anything they want for either Fallout 4 or Skyrim Special Edition.”
Bethesda restated the importance of mod support for Fallout and Skyrim mods on PlayStation 4, and how much time it has put into the project. “However, until Sony will allow us to offer proper mod support for PS4,” continues Bethesda’s statement, “that content for Fallout 4 and Skyrim on PlayStation 4 will not be available.”
The implication is that Sony wanted to exercise more control over mod approval than Bethesda was willing to accept. Mod culture is all about free-wheeling alterations by way of expressing a modder’s creativity, and Bethesda has taken a light hand in deciding what mods are or are not appropriate for its games.
We reached out to Sony and Bethesda for clarification on what, precisely, was the logjam. A representative from Bethesda told the Daily Dot, “The information that we can share is in the post we put up this morning.”
Dennis Scimeca was the Daily Dot's gaming reporter until 2016. He loves first-person shooters, role-playing games, and massively multiplayer online games. His work has appeared in Salon, NPR, Ars Technica, Kotaku, Polygon, Gamasutra, GamesBeat, Paste, and Mic.