Ever wanted to explore Tamriel with friends but didn't want to do so with thousands of other players in The Elder Scrolls Online? Then this Skyrim Together mod is for you, though it looks like not everything that made their project possible might have been entirely there with permission.
Following a successful closed beta period for the co-op Skyrim mod, a team of devs behind Skyrim Script Extender are accusing the modders of taking code that wasn't theirs to take and was taken without credit or permission.
The drama erupted over on Reddit where the accusations went live:
In the above post, script comparisons were made beneath a very plainly written ""Skyrim Together is stealing [Skyrim Script Extender] code, uncredited, without permission, with an explicit term in the license restricting one of the authors from having anything to do with the code."
They added, "This source code theft is completely uncredited, denied by the authors, and I'm sure has been a great help in developing their mod that is currently only usable when paid. Currently I'm not sure what to do about this situation.
"Note that it is normal for ordinary native code plugins to use the SKSE source code directly, and that's OK. They are supposed to have their source available, but in reality that doesn't always happen. ST is causing a problem by violating the license, not crediting, going out of their way to keep closed-source, and effectively charging for a mod. This reflects badly on us, and pushes us in to a very bad legal position with Bethesda."
Given that the Skyrim Script Extender is a very notable tool within the modding community, code taken isn't out of the ordinary, though the team behind the co-op experience had previously stated that they "don't use" SKSE's code even though it works with their loader.
The Skyrim Together folks didn't let the accusations lie without response, adding "We have had disagreements with the SKSE folks in the past, I have tried to communicate with them but they have never replied, so we stopped using their code. There might be some leftover code from them in there that was overlooked when we removed it, it isn't as simple as just deleting a folder, mainly our fault because we rushed some parts of the code. Anyway we are going to make sure to remove what might have slipped through the cracks for the next patch."
Since Skyrim Together runs a very successful Patreon to back the creation of this mod, the drama could be a question of "where is my money going?" The team added that they aren't "forcing" anyone to pay and that if supporters don't feel comfortable supporting their 8 years of work following SKSE, then they understand should fans choose.
Since they are literally making thousands of dollars a month for this project, it's understandable that the devs would want credit if these allegations prove to be true. For now, it's up to the two teams to see if an agreement can be made.
Thanks, PC Gamer!