Microsoft has said that thanks to the job ads that we've written about in the past, it'll take a while to dig deeper into mod support for the Xbox One. Thanks to some internal documents, we now have a better idea of how Microsoft wants to turn the Xbox One into a great platform for mods and developers who want to allow mods in their games.
For those who do not know: Mods are typically community-created maps, items, skins, and other in-game features that can be used to "modify" an existing game, especially on Windows PCs.
At the time of writing, developers need to create their own systems and services to bring mods to Xbox One. Halo 5 Forge, Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition are a few prominent games that have their own modding systems built by their respective studios. Of course, developers will continue to do so if they so choose, but Microsoft is setting up a system that not only provides much of the infrastructure needed to set up these features, but also resembles Surface Mods directly in a new section of the Xbox Store the Steam Workshop to make it easier to discover.
Xbox Community Content
Presumably this summer, the new Xbox Community Content Platform will be a new infrastructure Designed for developers to support user-generated content (UGC) or mods in their games. Microsoft mentioned Minecraft's affiliate program and the community marketplace as an example of how mods have improved the game.
If these plans continue, developers will be able to define what constitutes mods in their games and decide whether they will make money). A developer might choose to allow only skins or texture updates, but could also include gameplay-modifying features such as weapons, maps, or even complete quests or campaigns.
For Xbox Community Games, a space reserved on Xbox consoles content, for downloading mods. Developers can also associate metadata with mods to help them search the Microsoft Store, Xbox Clubs, and social feeds.
These documents date from earlier years and find that a developer beta for the features the Xbox would meet with dev kits in March, with approved mod libraries that go live later this summer. Future iterations of the service beyond this summer include full integration of the Xbox Shell, mods directly on the store page of a game, recommendations, commerce support for mod creators, reviews and mod reviews, and site integration for viewing Mods in a Browser
It is up to the developers to decide how to use these services, including things like moderation of content and whether paid mods are allowed or not. Microsoft also places great emphasis on mod makers with this platform, giving them tools to promote their mods through the social features of Xbox Live, with access to telemetry on how well their mods are received and used.
Hopefully we'll hear it more soon …
The Xbox Community Content Platform sounds like a great move to everyone involved. Mod support games enjoy a longer life, and some of the best mod builders have found paid work in the industry on the back of their ingenious creations.
As always, plans can change (and often do), so stick to an official announcement. But considering how much work has already been done to set up these functions, as well as job settings at Microsoft, I would say that sooner or later we should learn more about this new modding platform.