Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

There exists, somewhere, the shell of a Skyrim multiplayer mod called Skyrim Together. As its name indicates, this mod tries to turn the single-player Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim into a shared online experience with a group of friends or even strangers. At least, that's what the case would be if the mod was actually out. If the words of the mod's developer are anything to go on, that release may never actually happen.

According to PCGamesN, a member of the mod team named maxgriot posted on Reddit that they "don't owe the community anything." This comment was made in response to a now-purged Reddit thread titled "Is something going to happen?" Maxgriot continued on to say that updates are posted only "if we feel like spending time doing it."

"(The team is) NOT making this for the community. The community has been so toxic we even considered saying ‘fuck it’ and (giving) up, or (continuing) but never (releasing) anything to the public. We are making this for ourselves because we think it’s a very fun project to work on and we learn a ton doing this.

"People leaving is the least of our concern as they will come back when it’s released, we aren’t trying to build a community. Please let us be and do things the way we want."
The problem with that kind of thinking is this: The community and the fans are the ones currently funding this mod. The Skyrim Together mod is crowd-funded via Patreon to the tune of over $18,000 per month and over 17,600 patrons. Yes, this number is much lower than it was at various points in the past (over $24,000 at one point), but that does not take away from the fact that the small mod team is still getting paid by the fans on a monthly basis. It really isn't unreasonable to believe that these fans should expect something in return, even if that something is more regular status updates. Imagine if an actual business told their investors or shareholders that they "don't owe them anything" and maintained radio silence for months at a time.

The Skyrim Together Patreon hasn't provided any new update since January 27, 2019. Their website is also nothing beyond a static logo and some sprite smoke effect.

To their credit, the Skyrim Together team did release a closed beta earlier this year. However, even that release hit a brick wall when it was discovered that the mod straight up stole source code from Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE). Anybody who has ever done any Skyrim modding are probably very familiar with SKSE in some capacity. It was estimated that nearly a quarter of the code used in Skyrim Together was stolen from SKSE. Skyrim Together's maxgriot claims that he just didn't have the time to credit the SKSE developer.

On the flip side of the coin, there are other multiplayer mods out there for older Elder Scrolls titles. These include TES3MP, which is built on the open source OpenMW project. OpenMW itself is a free, modern engine upgrade to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. This isn't a mod. This is instead an engine built to bring Morrowind to a more modern era. As such, it also doesn't include Morrowind assets, meaning that you do still actually need to own Morrowind in order to make use of OpenMW. You can find Morrowind available on places like Steam, GOG, and Bethesda for around $15. TES3MP is currently sitting on version 0.7.0 and is free to download. OpenMW recently released their 0.45.0 version and is also free to download.

(Credit for some information contained in this news goes to _Robbie via Reddit. See how easy that is?)