One of the best things I saw last week over at Nexusmods.com (where I go to get all my Skyrim and Fallout mods, dontcha know) was the news that they'd added a page for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Yes!
In an introductory letter, the Nexus' Dark0ne points out that:
Creating a Nexus site for XCOM – Enemy Unknown marks a shift in general policy for Nexus sites, not only because I'm launching the site before the release of the game but also because there's been no announcement from Firaxis or 2K Games on the modding potential of the game and whether they'll be supporting it with any modding tools.
While it could well be that certain aspects of the game remain off-limits to modders, that doesn't mean that the game will go untouched. In fact, in the forums at the XCOM Nexus, the Mod talk forum is already blowing up with tips, tricks, and early .ini tweaks. Past that, there are already a few mods up, including the "Warspace Extension" mod, which rebalances the game and makes it more fair, particularly for those who don't "save scum" and reload every time something goes against them on a mission.
Most of the stuff in those threads is a bit beyond me; I am an avid consumer of mods, but not yet a creator of them. That said, I have been having fun reading Xionanx's compiled list of .ini settings and their functions, and imagining what mods may come of all this.
I've reached out to 2K and Firaxis to ask about their plans for supporting the modding community going forward and will update if I get a solid reply. It's worth noting that Firaxis' Jake Solomon did say in a PC Gamer interview that mods were a possibility. From that interview:
"The idea is that there is the ability for modability," said Solomon. It won't be anything that we're committing to for release, but it's very very easy using Unreal titles. I write almost all my game code in the scripts, and that's very easy to give to people."
I truly hope that they're planning to open the game up, because I can only imagine the kind of amazing stuff these modders could do with XCOM's robust, well-built foundation. Here's hoping.
Update: In a statement sent to Kotaku, XCOM lead producer Garth DeAngelis has reiterated Solomon's past statement: "Jake has said in the past that he'd like to see modding be part of XCOM. It's definitely something we're interested in doing in the future."
XCOM Nexus [Nexusmods]