In March of this year, the world awoke to one of the most bewildering announcements to date. The beloved franchise of Halo, packaged in the Master Chief Collection, finally came to PC. Better yet, to Steam. Halo fans all around the world rejoiced in harmony as PC fans will finally be able to experience the full Halo experience without borderline stealing what it’s considered abandon ware at this point with the likes of the Halo 2: Project Cartographer, that lets you run Halo 2 on the PC. Ever since Combat Evolve, players had been craving for a PC Halo experience. However, one community in particular has also been quite ecstatic for the release of PC Halo games: The Modding Community. And they may get their chance to shine once more in the public spotlight.
The Modding Community is arguably one of the most important aspects of the Gaming community. Since the start of PC gaming, Mods have practically built the PC gaming industry from the ground up. Team Fortress 2 was derived from a Quake mod, Team Fortress. Quake’s engine would later be modified to the Source engine which started the Half Life Franchise. Half-Life would later spawn many other games such as Counter-Strike, Chivalry, Stanley Parable and Garry’s Mod. The Moba craze spawned from Dota 2 which spawned from the Warcraft III mod, Dota. The Battle Royale craze spawned from PUBG and DayZ, both ARMA Mods. Many other games spawned from the Unreal Tournament franchise and its engine is still used to this day. Even Undertale, a beloved game that took the world by storm in fanart and merchandise, was originally an Earthbound romhack. Modders also play a part in making roms, which are used to preserve older games taken off digital shelves. And let’s not forget the sheer amount of Minecraft and Skyrim mods that have helped shaped their respective games throughout the decade.
Needless to say, Modders would end up having major impacts on the game industry, and they still continue to do so with no logical end as gaming ripples through time. However, the Modding community has been less and less noticeable. It’s arguably dying at this point as most of the games you can mod are almost decades old. Games like Unreal Tournament 4 has had its support dropped not too long ago, the Source engine games that are moddable are dying off slowly such as Team Fortress 2. Skyrim is becoming less and less impactful and more stretched by Bethesda to run on your toaster. And loads of companies are starting to either abuse or take down the modding communities. Nintendo has been infamously strict about mods and taking down. Not to mention that journalist websites like Kotaku have recently tried to highlight mods which ended up getting taken down by being shown to the public.
While it’s had a big impact on kickstarting Auto Chess and Battle Royales, not much of modding itself is in mainstream gaming outside a small bubble in the PC community. This lack of support is mostly due to microtransactions, as companies attempt to gatekeep cosmetic items behind a paywall rather than let you customize yourself as you see fit. A prime example would be League of Legends not supporting Wooxy anymore, a program that let you install custom skins and models into the game. It was a nice outlet for LoL youtubers to make some funny meme videos with, let you experience the old maps and included Pool Party Ahri for…. studying the mechanics…
There’s been some pushing for mods in bigger AAA games such as Overwatch with its Workshop mode as you can make your own heroes and gamemodes. But without a proper mapmaking system, a lot of this modding is a bit restricting and difficult to handle when making gamemodes.
The MCC seems to be making supporting the change to pro-mods further. It was confirmed earlier in the year that the MCC will be supporting mods as confirmed by the devs. Even Halo Online devs are, supposedly, helping out with this process. However, finding proof of this besides a few reddit posts was scarce and the community was still on edge on whether it was true. However, with the new release of Halo Reach on PC, opening it up clearly shows a client you can open with cheats, which undoubtedly lets you mod and change around its settings.
It’s not much, but it’s definitely a glaring sign towards possible official mod support for the game. While waiting for such supports, I would like to recommend youtuber InfernoPlus for some incredible mod talent and custom maps. Also as an inspiration for this article. There’s also other sources especially to video essays on Modding and Maps which are also worth checking out below.