February 21, 2019 | 11:00
Paradox Interactive has announced a partnership with Microsoft to launch the first independent, open modding platform on the Xbox One console, alongside Windows PCs, starting with the company's Surviving Mars.
Game modifications - usually abbreviated to 'mods' - have traditionally been a near-exclusive feature of the PC platform. With origins traceable back to the early days of text-based interactive fiction - as evidenced by the number of variants of Will Crowther's Adventure available to download - mods can range from changing the graphics of a game to warping it into something entirely different, as with Quake-originating total conversions like Quake Rally and the original Team Fortress. While some developers embrace mods and the modding community, others attempt to lock them out - either in favour of selling mod-like content for profit, or out of a desire to prevent abuse of intellectual property.
Consoles, however, are typically excluded from modders' reaches, thanks to a considerably more locked-down environment. In recent years that has begun to change with companies like Bethesda adding limited mod support to its console titles - and now Paradox Interactive is getting into the game, announcing what it claims is the first independent and fully-open console modding platform.
The new platform, dubbed Paradox Mods, has been developed in partnership with Microsoft for Windows PCs and the Xbox One console family. Starting with survival strategy title Surviving Mars, and to expand to more games in the near future, players will be able to download user-created mods directly in the game; mod creators, meanwhile, can share their creations across both Xbox One and PC with a single upload.
'Modding has been, and remains an important part of the Paradox community. As we have diversified the way we distribute our games, we want to make sure all our players can take part in the creation process,' explains Paradox's Anders Törlind. 'For Surviving Mars, we have worked with mod creators to support Paradox Mods with some of the best mods available, all in one place and downloadable in-game or simply using a web browser. We really look forward to unlocking the world of modding for all members of our community, regardless of what system they are using to play our games.'
Paradox describes the platform as 'the first direct pipeline modders have to publish their work on consoles,' though the process isn't quite as transparent as it sounds: The company confirms that at launch only 30 mods out of the PC version's 100 will be available, each of which has been 'tested and [found] ready for console players;' exactly what this testing process involves and how likely it is that a mod will be rejected from being made available on the platform has not been discussed.
More details on the feature are available on the Paradox Mods website.
January 24 2020 | 12:00