Skyrim Together Under Fire for Stealing Pieces of Code

March 6, 2019
Skyrim Together Under Fire for Stealing Pieces of Code

Skyrim Together, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim multiplayer mod, has been accused of using code that they were explicitly forbidden from using. The accusations came from a developer of Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE), a famous mod that allows modders to do more complex things with the game.

The developer called out Skyrim Together for using source code from SKSE, despite one of the developers being named in the license and being forbidden from using SKSE for any purpose. The stated reason for this restriction is “continued intentional copyright infringement and total disrespect for modder etiquette.

The Skyrim Together team responded by saying that the code was used early in prototyping and that in the current version it isn’t used in any way.

“We rewrote the parts that were using files from the SKSE project so we do not rely on it anymore. We just have an automated build system that included some SKSE files but they are not used in the actual mod.”

Later they acknowledged that they were prohibited from using the mod and that they are patching it out and continued with an apology.

“...There is no excuse as to why this code has remained in the codebase for this long and was distributed without credit or acknowledgment.”

Adding to the controversy is the fact that the original creator of the mod shared screenshots showing that the current lead developer, Yamashi, knew that they weren’t allowed to use it, but still used it. This caused a heated back and forth between the two.

The controversy also brought something else to light, Skyrim Together's Patreon page which gets them $25.000 every month. The mod will be free on release, but through Patreon donations, users can get Beta access. This goes directly against Bethesda's stance on paid mods since users are paying to play this The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim mod.

The team's response to this is that all of the developers had agreed to work voluntarily when they first started making the mod. They claim the money is being used for server costs, certificates, and domains, and everything that is left stays untouched.