A bit of bad from both.
Last week Fallout fans on PS4 received some disappointing news. After much back and forth between Sony and Bethesda, the former rejected mod support on the PS4 for Fallout 4 and Skyrim: Special Edition, coming later this year.
In a blog post announcing the news, Bethesda put Sony on blast. From the looks of things, Sony wasn’t happy with the way something was working with the mods, and after months of trying, the two parties just couldn’t come to a compromise on the matter. Bethesda’s finger seems squarely at Sony on this one, lending an answer after months of waiting and delays, all while mod support saw a smooth launch on Xbox One back in May.
“After months of discussion with Sony, 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.
Like you, we are disappointed by Sony’s decision given the considerable time and effort we have put into this project, and the amount of time our fans have waited for mod support to arrive. We consider this an important initiative and we hope to find other ways user mods can be available for our PlayStation audience. However, until Sony will allow us to offer proper mod support for PS4, that content for Fallout 4 and Skyrim on PlayStation 4 will not be available.
We will provide an update if and when this situation changes.”
While Bethesda is seemingly committed to delivering user mods to PS4 owners, their wording suggests a flat-out rejection on Sony’s behalf. It’s a decision with little explanation behind it, but it’ll certainly make the most hardcore of Bethesda console fans think twice about taking to the PlayStation.
One statement was particularly suggestive: “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.” It almost implies Sony desired some level of limitation be put into place for mod support. Certain mods, like those that increase item limits within settlements, can put increased strain on the system, leading to crashes and performance problems. Other mods may raise a content worry for Sony, should they want to ensure content remains appropriate on their system.
Ultimately, this looks bad for Sony, and has led to a lot of disappointment for those who were promised mod support shortly after Fallout 4’s showing at E3. What’s more, while Sony remains silent on the matter, Bethesda’s Pete Hines has been taking to Twitter to answers fans’ questions and angry comments on the issue. Judging by Hines’ response to a fan earlier today, Bethesda still hasn’t quite given up on bringing some aspect of mod support to PS4.
@llCubell we can't get into specifics. we still want to get mod support of some kind out on ps4.
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) September 14, 2016
As it stands currently, Bethesda are certainly looking like the good guys. However, it’s probably worth taking into account the two companies’ history with one another.
An official statement has yet to be provided by Sony on the matter, and Bethesda was probably disinclined to paint itself in a bad light within its own blog post. That’s to say, Bethesda has a pretty bad track record when it comes to bringing games to Sony’s systems. The worst example was Skyrim on PS3, which suffered from huge memory issues which, according to Todd Howard, resulted from complexities in “the things you’ve done in what order and what’s running.” Though Bethesda was aware the PS3 could have these memory issues, it believed that solutions had been coded into the version of the game to prevent this from happening.
It doesn’t just stop with Skyrim though. Fallout 3 didn’t run overly well when it initially released on the PS3 in comparison to its 360 counterpart, and Fallout 4 suffered a number of technical hiccups both for the base game and its first large expansion, Far Harbor. With a past of technical issues just trying to get games to run normally on Sony systems, the mods decision may have partially come down to a coding issue on Bethesda’s part.
Further evidence to support this comes in the form of a statement from Bethesda when, back in June, they cited serious technical issues as reasons for the PS4 mod beta delay. With problems including no sound file support, a storage cap of 900 MB, and memory and performance problems, Bethesda’s troubles with mods on PS4 is by no means nothing new.
When all is said and done, neither party should be aiming to plead not-guilty. Sony, by the sounds of things, have slammed the door on the concept of Bethesda’s mods on PS4, and Bethesda hasn’t really got a track record that suggests it may not be something on its end. Ultimately, if Pete Hines’ comment on Twitter was correct, and PS4 players will get some element of mod support, that will at least soften the blow. And while it’s even more of a long shot, hopefully, a full solution to the problem can be reached soon.