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The Real Reason These Fan Favorite Mass Effect Mods Are Gone

"Mass Effect Legendary Edition" brought the beloved "Mass Effect" trilogy to gamers for a second time in an enhanced collection. There were new features added, like a photo mode, while a few things were taken away, including one "lost" DLC. For many "Mass Effect" fans, mods have become a huge part of the experience, making the games even better. However, because of "Mass Effect Legendary Edition," some of the most popular mods for the original games have been taken down.

ThaneMOD, a highly recommended mod for "Mass Effect 3" centered around the fan favorite character Thane, has been removed from Nexus Mods by its creator, Giftfish, along with other popular "Mass Effect" mods they've created. Without giving too much of the game's plot away, the ThaneMOD gave players different ways to handle the original version of Thane's story. It also included a more "immersive experience and conclusion of [Thane's] character," according to Reddit user pfohl

The reasoning for taking the mod down was discussed on the creator's blog. Apparently, there's no way to port mods that were made for the original "Mass Effect" games into "Mass Effect Legendary Edition." While many creators are working on remaking their mods, Nexus Mods apparently isn't protecting their past work. Instead, the website is considering any mods for "Legendary Edition" to be "idea-based," even if they're remakes of older mods. Therefore, anyone can theoretically recreate someone else's mods without crediting the original modder.

Nexus Mods doesn't always handle remakes like this

As ThaneMOD's creator wrote, "When a person spends dozens or hundreds or thousands of hours of their time creating something, their creative rights to their work should be respected — legally, ethically, and morally."

Giftfish compared the situation with "Mass Effect" to "Skyrim," another game with a remaster that has been modded frequently. According to ThaneMOD's creator, mods were able to be ported from "Skyrim" to "Skyrim Special Edition," and because of how the mods were created and ported, there were exclusive rights for the original modders, and these mods could not be ported without permission from the creator.

"The practical implications of this stance," explained Giftfish, "are that every 'Mass Effect' mod author is left not only with uncertainty, but with fewer protections against infringement, and fewer creative rights than a 'Skyrim' mod author—simply due to technical differences in our modding practices."

Despite working in the modding community since 2011, Giftfish chose to take the mods down and suspend any work on mods they were working on. While this decision might be disheartening for those who love ThaneMOD, it's easy to understand why the creator chose to remove the mods in the first place.