Users have been asking for official mod support since the beginning of the 360, and we now have a solid indication that Microsoft is working on it. An opening on the company’s careers portal is looking for a program manager for Xbox One mods.
“Team Xbox is looking for you to drive support on Xbox Live for game mods. You will have a unique opportunity to shape and bring to market a new set of services, tools and experiences allowing game developers to easily integrate mods into their games, communities of passionate fans to create and share awesome and engaging content for the games they love, while keeping everyone on the network safe from abusive content,” says the listing.
Though Microsoft is yet to announce mod support officially, the description is very clear about the employee’s role. If the feature makes it to market, it will be huge news for both Xbox and Windows 10, with lack of mod support often criticized.
Though games such as Fallout 4 and Skyrim have mod support on console, those systems were developed specifically by Bethesda. The huge company has the resources to build such a platform, but many don’t want to dedicate the infrastructure.
601 Million Downloads a Year
There are a number of games on PC that don’t have mods on console, including The Witcher 3, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and XCOM. PC modding site Nexusmods supports over 493 different titles and totaled 601 million downloads in 2017.
As well as extending the longevity of games, mods create a community aspect that could drive engagement across the Xbox Live platform. They let users work together to solve a game’s issues or craft completely new stories inside of them.
However, Microsoft will have to be careful about how it handles Xbox one mods, particularly monetization. In 2015, Valve tried to launch paid mods for Skyrim and was slated so hard it pulled it the change.
Since then, Bethesda has had success with paid mods in Fallout 4. Rather than allowing anyone to create paid mods, it asks creators to pitch ideas for approval and get Bethesda’s help for development. It’s a tactic that could work for Xbox, but we’d much rather see a free, untouched experience.