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Fallout 4's fast-approaching release date has left a lot of gamers with a lot of questions. Bethesda has been quite open with the process of how they're handling content in the upcoming open-world, action-RPG and they're also quick to explain why mod tools won't be available at launch.
In an interview with the Australian branch of IGN, Bethesda's VP of marketing, Pete Hines, explained why the mod tools won't be available right at launch, stating...
Nobody cares about mods if the game sucks. This has always been our philosophy. We shift energy to construction tools, the creation kit, and all of that stuff once the game is done, and we start to figure out what all of that is going to look like.
And the game is practically done. Bethesda's head honchos have been quick to point out that no new features have been going into the game and no new features are going into the game leading up to release. At this stage in development it's all about refining what they have and optimizing what's already in there.
For a giant open-world game like Fallout 4, you can't afford to add in anything that might break the game, break the game engine or create conflicts with the current hardware of the home consoles, or even various configurations for PC.
The main goal from the company at this point is ensure that the product works at launch. That may seem like something that should go without saying, but in today's climate we've had a lot of AAA games launching just plain and outright broken out of the box, especially on PC. The Batman: Arkham Knight fiasco shed a lot of light on how poorly some games are handled when it comes to appropriately addressing QA issues.
In the case of Fallout 4, Bethesda wants to ensure that the core game functions properly for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC and then they'll start working on getting the mod tools up and out for gamers.
I think that's the best way of going about it. Modders only take interest in games that are mod-friendly or to do it just for the challenge. If a game is broken or isn't very fun, as Hines pointed out above, no one is going to want to play the game, much less mod it.
I wouldn't be surprised if we started seeing mods released for Fallout 4 before the official tools become available.
According to Bethesda they plan on getting the tools up and out to the public by 2016. Implementation for Xbox One mods will commence in early 2016 and sometime later in that year the PS4 will have access to mods as well. As noted in the VG247 article, console games will not be able to create their own mods but it will be possible to download the modifications made by PC gamers.
You can look for Fallout 4 to launch for home consoles and PC this November.