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The rise of mods on consoles

The future of mods in video games seems bright, as studios explore new ways to engage and grow their player base. With mods on consoles a rising possibility, I take a look at what that means and why it's important to consider.

Yesterday's announcement from Paradox Interactive and Xbox comes as no surprize to me, that the next frontier for mods is consoles. With a continually shifting gaming landscape and increased competition coming in from a deluge of daily releases, it's important to be able to engage and retain the players you have. 

The games that do it well like Fortnite become juggernauts, but unless you are Epic Games and have an army of creators releasing skins, emotes and updates daily - it's impossible to compete. Mods help in this regard because they give you an army, but there is so much more to it than that.

Today studios can sell their games direct for much greater upside, Discord and Epic Games offer a viable alternative to Steam, and everyone is trying to create the "Netflix" of games. It's impossible to know where your next customer will come from, what matters is that when the customer comes, you are able to forge a lasting relationship with them.

Because mods deliver a deeply personalized experience between the player and the game, it's a solution that can work everywhere your game is sold. There isn't much that can do that without adding friction to the user experience, so it's easy to see other studios following Paradox Interactive's lead, and leveraging the goodwill of mods to unite their playerbase.

As the creator of ModDB.com i'm naturally biased to the news, but it's hard not to get excited when I see studios moving in this direction. For the past 2 years we have been building mod.io, a mod API for game developers (think of it as a cross-platform Steam Workshop which can be run in-house, can be embedded anywhere and can be deeply customized to fit your use-case as rules are applied on a game-by-game basis).

We see mods playing a huge role in the future of gaming, so if you are a developer interested in discussing your approach to modding, we have a lifetime of experience we are happy to lend and a platform ready to help you harness the potential. Reach out to start a conversation on email or Discord. Oh and if you are a Unity developer, check out our newly launched Unity mod plugin.

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