A change made in the upcoming Skyrim Anniversary Edition threatens to splinter the mod scene. With every update to the immensely popular game, there threatens to be a change that breaks the way mods work, and Skyrim Anniversary Edition is the biggest concern in the modding community yet.
The main issue with the Anniversary Edition is the fact that it’s an update of the existing game rather than a new release. With it comes changes to the Skyrim Script Extender, a plug-in that makes mods work with the game. This release updates the compiler from Visual Studio 2015 to the 2019 edition, which changes how code is generated “in a way that forces mod developers to start from scratch finding functions and writing hooks,” writes a SKSE developer in a Reddit post.
“Plugins using the Address Library will need to be divided in to ‘pre-AE’ and ‘post-AE’ eras. Code signatures and hooks will need to be rewritten. We will all need to find functions again. The compiler’s inlining behavior has changed enough that literally a hundred thousand functions have disappeared and been either inlined or deadstripped, to put it in perspective,” the post continues. In plain terms, that means that many mods will just outright no longer work without putting a ton of work into updating them. “This realistically means that the native code mod scene is going to be broken for an unknown length of time after AE’s release.”
Given how mods have helped extend the life of Skyrim over the years, it’s surprising how Bethesda seems to undercut the modding community with each update. At any rate, the Anniversary Edition will include much sought after next-gen updates as well as new content like fishing.
Skyrim Anniversary Edition arrives November 11 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.