No matter how you spin this, Sony is in the wrong here.
It hasn’t been a good week for Sony- the announcement of the PS4 Pro was already a bit of a damp squib for them, with a lot of gestating backlash, but it was followed almost immediately by Bethesda announcing that mods for Fallout 4 and Skyrim Remastered, which they had promised for the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game, would not be coming to Sony’s console after all- and in a surprising move, they trained their guns and placed the blame for this entirely on Sony.
Bethesda’s press release claimed that Sony was unwilling to work with them and to make the compromises necessary to get mods working on the system. But the question is, is Bethesda’s side of the story really necessarily true? And even if it is, then why did Bethesda announce mods for the console in the first place, if they hadn’t been certified or confirmed by Sony yet?
That question is a facile and fanboyish one, which misses the larger point entirely- Bethesda announced their game last year, as well as their vision for their game. Games are announced for systems without first having proper licenses or certification all the time- those things come later. Bethesda didn’t necessarily do anything wrong here, even if they announced PS4 mods too early. They have consistently attempted to communicate with fans about the situation, and when it didn’t work out, they didn’t faff about with embarrassing PR- they came right out and said what had happened.
In other words, Bethesda are not in the wrong. Sony are. Sony are currently going against the very standards for openness and choice that they claimed to stand for not so long ago. Not so long ago, it was Sony allowing for cross platform play, Sony allowing Portal 2 players to link their PSN and Steam accounts together, Sony espousing platform openness. Today, Sony stand in the way of cross platform play between Xbox and PlayStation, Sony disallow services like EA Access from their devices entirely, and Sony block features like mods- Microsoft and Sony have switched places.
Should Bethesda have waited a bit to announce PS4 mods? Maybe, although again, what they did is not an uncommon practice in the industry at all. Whether or not they would have, the blame would, and still does, lie squarely on Sony.
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