Skyrim update introduces Creations, bringing back the paid mods controversy from half a decade ago

Skyrim: Special Edition
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Skyrim Special Edition's latest update has rehashed one of the game's most controversial features from its past in the form of Creations.

Bethesda Game Studios announced the new platform via Twitter, stating that Creations "provides an updated way for players to discover, download and play community-made and official content." The adjacent blog post detailing Creations goes into more detail and offers some examples of featured Creations for players to try.

The post elaborates that modders can apply to be part of the Verified Creator Program, which will allow them to "set prices for their Creations." While players can still elect to upload Creations free of charge - and the Creation Club feature and its currency will continue to exist - Creations is offering a more up-to-date way for creators to earn revenue in Skyrim Special Edition.

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What's important to note is that Creations seem rather more complex than those featured in 2017's controversial Creation Club. Back then, the additions Bethesda was charging for were extremely simple affairs; often very straightforward quests with none of the versatility or intrigue brought by modders for over a decade. Creations, by comparison, seem to be offering more substantial additions including graphical updates, voiced followers, and the like.

That being said, the update hasn't exactly gone down well on social media. In the replies to the official Twitter post, many are shaking their heads at the return to the concept of paid mods. Others are rightly worried about the possibility of popular (arguably essential) free mods being locked behind a paywall.

Hopefully, Creations won't prove to be overly intrusive for Skyrim Special Edition. Websites hosting free mods, like Nexus Mods, will continue to exist, as will support for mod hosting and downloads on console. Here's hoping, then, that Creations simply offers one avenue of accessing fan-made content rather than becoming the new norm.

If you enjoy Skyrim, you may be interested in the list we have over at our best RPGs page. Alternatively, our best Steam games guide details fantastic recommendations for PC titles both big and small.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.