We already know that Microsoft’s PC games of late have been basically unmoddable and unextendable, thanks to the UWP file format (which is the file format that they are distributed in) being a pretty tight package that doesn’t lend itself to much, if any, tampering. However, whatever little modding was possible before will now no longer be possible at all.
While Microsoft’s PC ports have gotten a whole lot better than the mess they used to be earlier this year – Halo 5: Forge and Forza Horizon 3 are both pretty good – they now are also completely locked down, meaning no more modding. This is because both these games run on the appx file format, meaning even simple things like XML editing are now off the table.
The good news is this, along with the Windows Store, completely kills piracy. The bad news is that modding, which is a mainstay of PC gaming, is now not possible with this format. This was probably something that most PC gamers had come to terms with as far as Microsoft’s games were concerned, but if other game developers adapt the format, then modding at large as a concept could be seriously endangered. This, plus reports that the PC version of Forza Horizon 3 has some performance issues, being attributed to the appx encryption, means that PC gamers are unlikely to be with the new format’s introduction.