It wasn't long ago that user-generated content was a feature only the biggest games supported. Back then, mods were generally total conversions that completely transformed games and these transformations gave rise to classics like Counter-Strike (Half-Life), DotA/LoL (Warcraft 3), PUGB/Fortnite (ArmA 3) and many others.
Mods in more places
Fast forward a few years and modding is emerging in more places than ever. Platforms like mod.io and Steam Workshop that make modding accessible to more players via in-game interfaces means even the smallest games can support healthy communities of creators. A shift towards cosmetic and item-like mods means it's simpler to create and find UGC to play for your favorite games. Consoles and platforms becoming more open and PC-like (Minecraft, Super Mario Maker, Dreams etc...) has helped some gaming studios even make the shift onto them, with Paradox Interactive and Bethesda leading the charge.
Mobile the next frontier
Today is another big day in the history of modding, with Supercell launching Make, their content creation platform. What's interesting about this, is for the longest time UGC hasn't really happened on mobile because creating content on the device is severely limited by the form factor and tools available, and mobile platforms are still quite closed when it comes to custom content. We've never really considered the first point a barrier to entry, because passionate modders will always find a way to personalize and mod their favorite games, and clearly Supercell doesn't consider this a barrier to entry either, because in order to make content for Brawl Stars they recommend you use traditional PC 3D modelling tools.
But whether it is deliberate and by design, or the fact that mobile is still quite a closed platform, it appears that in order for your content to make it into the game, you need to win a submission process and be picked by the Supercell team. Despite this limitation, this is an incredible first step for UGC on mobile from such an influential company in the space, and we look forward to seeing others follow in their footsteps.
Talk to us about modding in your game
If you like what Supercell are doing, and are interested in launching a similar platform for UGC in your game on mobile, we'd love to chat to you. We've built a cross-platform mod API @ mod.io that includes all the features Supercell have used, and are ready to power your users creativity.