Bethesda's next release may end up fostering mod communities much like its predecessors Oblivion and Morrowind. A Bethesda Senior Community Manager confirmed yesterday that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be moddable. "We've always been impressed with what the community has done with our tools," the manager said. "Like the Elder Scrolls Construction Set for Morrowind and Oblivion, we plan to release the Creation Kit so you guys can mod Skyrim."
This news comes on the heels of a lengthy GameInformer piece that revealed much about the technology behind the upcoming title. Apparently, Skyrim will feature a brand-new game engine dubbed the Creation Engine and Kit, which will usher in graphical improvements as well as new-and-improved character artificial intelligence and side-quest management. Here's hoping the new technical goodies translate into some fresh and exciting mods after the game comes out in November.
It's just too bad more developers aren't as diligent as Bethesda. Beyond providing mere added value for PC gamers, mod tools are a smart bet for game studios seeking to prolong the life span of their releases. Geoff recently pointed out a particularly good example in Counter-Strike (which, before being brought in-house by Valve, was a mod for the original Half-Life), but the PC gaming world is rife with mod communities for games whose console fame has long dwindled away. That's one of the key strengths of the PC as a gaming platform—yet few even attempt to capitalize on it. (Thanks to Shacknews for the link.)