Recently, the Xbox One version of Fallout 4 gained support for mods. But while this is generally a good thing (since console players can now enjoy some of the cool add ons and new content previously used by owners of the PC version), it’s also brought over some drama.
Namely, people are stealing mods from the PC version and uploading them for the Xbox One version. Without permission from the original creators.
They’re doing this by using the Xbox One mod creation kit to recreate popular mods, and them uploading them under their own name. What’s worse, some people are even trying to profit off this, by asking for donations for mods they didn’t actually make.
Some more details (and examples) are given in this Reddit topic. Like this instance where the Xbox One ‘Spawn Items’ mod includes a copy of the NCR Veteran Ranger armour mod, which was included without the permission of its creators. Or a compilation pack which includes many of DDProduction83’s works (as uploaded by someone who hated his guts and wanted to spite him over his ‘elitist mind-set’).
There’s even a huge list of cases here, in case you thought it was a localised issue:
This sort of thing has gotten so bad that apparently, some mod authors are using Fallout 4 Script Extender on their work as a sort of cheap DRM equivalent in order to stop them being ported to the Xbox One version without the permission. Or in at least one case, deliberately messing up the save files of people who use their mods on the Xbox One version without their permission:
Still, there is a sort of bright side here. Namely, Bethesda has at least responded to the complaints, and urged anyone who’s mods were stolen to send a DMCA notification to their copyright abuse email address. There’s a topic about it on their forums here:
So with all that said, what can I say about the situation? Well, it obviously sucks for anyone making mods of the game that people are stealing their work. And hey, people taking everything you’ve been working on, claiming they own it and taking donations is an extremely sleazy practice up there only with the repro selling guys in the retro scene. Hopefully this sort of thing will stop quickly enough, as the thieves are gradually banned from the community and the mod scene for the Xbox One version develops a bit more of its own identity.
But I’m also not a huge fan of trying to mess around with save files and DRM and what not, especially given that it goes completely against what the modding world is meant to be about.
After all, if Bethesda themselves did the same thing, you wouldn’t really have any mods for the Fallout games, for The Elder Scrolls, etc. Call out the plagiarists and scumbags, but don’t try and screw over players who inadvertently use their stolen versions of your mods in the process. Some of them might not understand that the random internet person asking for donations isn’t actually the creator of the mod in question.
Still, what do you think? Are you disappointed that so much thievery has been going on in the Fallout 4 modding scene since the Xbox One version got the ability to use mods about a week ago? What do you think about some of the counter measures and stuff?
The script extender doesn’t work because it requires a second program file to be run alongside the game, and modifies the executable files on disc. This is obviously impossible on a locked down console like the Xbox One, so any mods using it won’t work. It’s obviously not meant as DRM, but it sometimes being used as such.