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After Capcom's Anti-Mod Update I Have to Wonder, Are Mods Good or Bad?

After Capcom's Anti-Mod Update I Have to Wonder, Are Mods Good or Bad?

Mods are one of the strangest things to come out of gaming, and certainly one of the hardest to explain to someone with no prior knowledge on the subject. To put it bluntly, they are (usually) fan-made content that is designed using a game architecture. They can take many forms, be it new content, changes to how the game is played, or something even more wacky. The point is they are a part of gaming, and their inclusion is often considered a given.

This has led to some issues recently as Capcom has seen several of their games review-bombed by users after implementing their non-mod software. Now, this software is pretty simple, it doesn’t allow mods to work on the games, but the question is, are mods good for gaming or are they bad?

I’ll start with the positives, and mods certainly do have a fair few. I know that many people consider the extra content a major benefit, and there is a lot of great fan content out there. For instance, the upcoming fan-made game, Fallout: London, looks to be impressive, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has had several fantastic mod quests that improve the overall game. These modded sections of games often increase the lifespan of a game, something that is a blessing in today's fiscally difficult time and can even improve an otherwise mediocre project.

Outside of the bigger options, there are certain smaller benefits that mods can bring that should be noticed. Modders can improve a game or even make certain games actually playable. For instance, it was only through mods that I managed to get Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines to work on my machine, and it has been noted that games like Pathfinder: Kingmakerneed mods to be considered playable. It is a sad fact that developers will not always support a game; that is part of their business, but modders can solve this problem and make the game we love playable.

However, there are downsides, and we all know it. Firstly, there is very little control over the quality of mods. While some mods are considered crucial, others can completely break a game and make it unplayable, looking at you Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth with your damn end-game-breaking bug. Mods are often filled with bugs and strange production problems. They have also been known to corrupt files and saves, so there are some serious threats to be aware of.

It should also be noted that for relative noobs, mods can be confusing. This is not a major fault of the actual concept, but it needs to be mentioned. There is a baseline of knowledge required to get the best of mods, including knowing how to follow a load-list, and what a load-list even means. It can also be intimidating to figure out which websites are trustworthy, as well as which files are safe.

The point is that mods certainly have a place, but their removal is down to the company. This is more of a grey area than many would want to admit. It is upsetting to see them removed as an option, especially as recent remarks from Ubisoft have made people very concerned about whether they own their games. It is also a valid complaint that Capcom brought this update out of nowhere and didn’t really offer players an option. 

When I started this article, I posited a question: are mods good or bad? I don’t think that this has an answer, at least not a simple one. Like anything in this world, there are bonuses and negatives. Capcom’s reaction is extreme, and some might say their fan reaction is well deserved, but is it the right reaction? Let me know your thoughts in the comments because I really can’t decide.

Joshua Render

Joshua Render

Staff Writer

Became a writer and all he got was this lousy bio

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