Firaxis were clear from the first that part of XCOM 2 going PC-exclusive is about making the game more mod-friendly. Today, as part of IGN’s ongoing reveal coverage, we got a little more detail about Firaxis’ plans to open the game to modders.
They also talked about how The Long War mod ended up being one of Firaxis’ favorite things about XCOM, and showed the studio how the fan community could find ways to surpass their original vision.
Once again, Dan Stapleton gets a lot of great stuff from creative director Jake Solomon and producer Garth DeAngelis. The most important thing that they confirm is that they’re going to release all the modding tools either at or shortly after the release of XCOM 2. And, of course, it will feature Steam Workshop integration.
But what jumped out at me was the long digression into a conversation about The Long War, which drastically expanded the original XCOM campaign into something more demanding and with a lot more variety. Polygon’s Russ Pitts wrote a long series about the mod shortly after it came out, explaining how to install the mod and why it’s worth doing. It’s the version of XCOM you play after you’re done beating it on Iron Man and high difficulty.
Jake Solomon even paid the mod the incredible compliment of saying, “We're basically a 20-hour tutorial for The Long War, and that's okay.”
He speculates that the mod scene might even bring back the original X-COM’s “time units”, effectively bringing back the old game inside the new one. One thing they don't speculate about is paid-mods. So I guess we'll wait and see how that shakes out.
According to their IGN interview, what Solomon and DeAngelis really want is for XCOM 2 to be almost limitlessly replayable. The main campaign for XCOM 2 is, if their hopes for the mod community come to fruition, going to be start of the adventure. Not the end.