Modding Community vs. Developers: The Battle for Creative Control

Modding has been around for decades. However, it’s only fairly recently that the modding community has become so active. While modders of yesteryear were limited with what they could do, today’s modding community has far better tools at their disposal.

Mods can introduce exciting new features to established titles, remedy game-crashing bugs, or make dramatic improvements to the aesthetics of a game. While the average player might appreciate modders, the same can’t always be said of video game publishers.

The Origins of the Modding Community

Game mods came into existence back in 1983 with Broderbund’s Lode Runner. In this platform game, developers had included a feature that allowed players to edit their own levels. What’s more, these custom levels could then be shared with anyone else playing from the same device. However, more advanced mods wouldn’t become a thing until the 1990s.

Unlike Lode Runner, it wasn’t a developer-intended feature that allowed players of Wolfenstein 3D to get creative. Instead, some players of this 1992 first-person shooter turned to game file manipulation instead.

Once these files were accessed, modders could make significant changes to the game, from creating entirely new levels to tinkering with graphics and animations. Today, modding is commonplace, particularly in PC gaming.

What Games Have Been Modded the Most?

It’s action RPGs and first-person shooters that tend to receive the most attention from the modding community. Elder Scrolls, Half-Life, and Fallout are among some of the most modded franchies of all time.

However, it’s Minecraft that has the biggest followers of modders on the planet. Modders have pushed this sandbox game to its limits over the past decade or so. Mojang Studios has taken note of the contributions of the modding community, with the developers adding new features to the game that allow modders to monetize their creations.

Should Developers Be Embracing Modders?

Bethesda’s Fallout 4 might have been released in 2015, but the action RPG continues to attract legions of players thanks to its modding potential. Ryan Johnson, a US-based Fallout modder, was singled out by Bethesda for his efforts.

In a career move only many of us could dream of, Johnson was offered the position of level designer for 2018’s Fallout 76. However, this isn’t an isolated case. Another high-profile modder, Emmi Junkkari, recently announced that she’d been invited to join to the Starfield development team.

While video game developers don’t struggle to see the potential in modders, game publishers take a different stance entirely. It’s not uncommon for video game publishers to threaten legal action against modders.

The usual angle is that the modding community has infringed on copyrights for intellectual property. While it’s true that modding falls into a gray area, it’s easy to see why there’s such an appetite for them among the general gaming community. When publishers fail to put new DLC content or release a full title laden with bugs, it’s down to modders to keep gamers engaged with a title.

Games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have hugely benefited from the modding community. CS:GO’s NOBLE Strike has a huge audience. Here, meticulous modders have brought characters and weaponry from the Halo franchise to the battlefields of CS:GO.

Then there’s the thriving skins mod market, practice maps feature, and gameplay modes to consider. Prefer your CS:GO more mod-free? Follow your favorite esports teams in action at

Editor Staff
Editor Staff
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