The Skyrim Anniversary Edition, when it launches next month, could cause problems for mod creators and render your existing Skyrim mods useless.
Mods alter the basic code or structure of a game to make substantial changes, and these can be adding better textures, changes to how the game actually plays, or even completely wacky changes. For example, there’s a mod for Skyrim which makes Thomas the Tank Engine a hostile NPC. Many of these mods have become an essential element in improving Skyrim for PC gamers. Now, these mods could be unplayable due to the Anniversary Edition of Skyrim.
Skyrim Anniversary Edition is the 64-bit version of the existing Skyrim Special Edition including the Creation Club (a place to buy mods recommended by Bethesda) and 26 other yet-to-be-released creations. Crucially, the Anniversary Edition won’t be a separate entry to download on Steam, instead, it’ll be an update to your existing Skyrim Special Edition installation, and it could cause existing Skyrim mods not to work.
Mods developers have explained that because Bethesda has updated existing versions of Skyrim, changing some of the code. This has meant mods operating with the existing version of Skyrim will not be compatible with the new Anniversary Edition. As the developer explains, everyone who has written code to develop mod software for the existing version of Skyrim will have to do a considerable amount of work to support the Anniversary Edition. This means for Skyrim players who use mods, your favorites may be unplayable for an extended period of time.
But, if your mods end up not working after the Anniversary Edition update next month, a team member who works on the mod auto-installer program Wabbajack, has said they plan to develop downgrading software allowing users to revert to older builds of games to get their Skyrim mods to work. Of course, this means that you’ll miss out on any advancements that the Anniversary Edition brings.
Analysis: Mod support has already been a problem
Skyrim Special Edition has already been a cause of problems for modders. Every time the Bethesda Creation Club gets new updates, it somehow breaks the Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE), which is a plug-in needed for many of the best Skyrim mods to work. To circumvent this problem, many Skyrim Special Edition owners set Steam to “only update this game when I launch it.”
A recent update to Fallout 3, also developed by Bethesda, is doing away with the game’s Games for Windows Live requirement, which is software that enabled PC users to connect to Microsoft’s online gaming service, which has since been abandoned.Fallout 3 also used Visual Studio 2019, and it appears that mods that have been developed for Games for Windows Live and Visual Studios 2019 are having compatibility issues, making some of them unplayable.
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Via PC Gamer