If you’ve played Skyrim or Fallout games especially, you’re probably familiar with the website Nexus Mods.
Recently Nexus Mods has made a controversial move with the introduction of what they’re calling “Collections.” First we’ll get into what Collections are and then talk about why people have become upset by it.
Collections Are Like Mod Playlists
The idea behind Collections is to group mods that work well together, so that a user can click download on the Collection and get all the mods that are part of it at once. The mods download and install together, and are automatically sorted (load order) based on what will work best.
Nexus Mods say that this will streamline the modding experience, and will be advantageous for new modders who are just learning how to do it.
The Downside For Mod Creators
While on paper Collections may sound advantageous for users, the concept has alienated a lot of mod creators because:
- Because a given mod will be lumped into a whole group of them, the user won’t be able to appreciate the changes that particular mod makes in their game to give it credit for the experience. All they’ll know is they installed a Collection and their game is cooler. That makes it harder for them to endorse mods etc.
- Downloading a Collection puts the focus on the Collection’s page, meaning users may never actually visit the pages for individual mods within it. That makes it all but impossible for mod creators from getting donations or building their own communities. Given that these mod creators are largely working for free and donating their time, taking away the direct ability for users to acknowledge a given creator is a fail.
- Nexus Mods is saying that going forward, once a mod is added to the site it can never be removed. That preserves the integrity of the Collections, but also communicates to the actual makers of these mods that they don’t maintain control of what they created. That Nexus Mods can do whatever they want with the material once its uploaded.
Some would argue that Nexus Mods is entitled to do whatever they want with content uploaded to their website.
However, as YongYea points out below, this is a for-profit company running the site making money from other people’s efforts — other people who are in many cases earning nothing.
It understandably does take quite a bit of effort to maintain a site with the scale and traffic of Nexus Mods. I don’t think anyone is arguing that the admins shouldn’t be able to monetize the site, and everybody seemed happy with the arrangement before.
But they’ve also made their discontent pretty known recently.
Nexus Mods gave an advanced warning for mod makers to be able to pull any content they want from the site prior to Collections being locked in, and the response from several prominent modders has been to pull everything and offer it exclusively elsewhere.
I understand the move, but it’s also a shame this is where it’s headed. As a big time Fallout 4 player who’s used a ton of mods over the years, the Nexus has been the go-to place to find mods.
To Me, Collections Sounds Like A Solution To A Problem I Don’t Have
I prefer to read about each mod, research people’s individual comments and issues (if any), and integrate mods where I see them making the most sense.
Can’t say I’ve ever thought to myself, “Installing these mods is too hard,” given how simple the Nexus Mod Manager makes it. And I’ve also never said to myself, “I wish I could get a whole collection of mods somebody else thinks is cool and blanket install the whole shebang and cross my fingers it all works out.”
Have I taken others’ suggestions for mods to try? Of course. I’m unsure what to make of the Collections concept as a user, though.
What this ultimately means for Fallout 4 modding remains to be seen.