I'm more of a console gamer these days, but I still enjoy games on both my 360 and my PC. Because my computer is old now and I like being able to lounge as I play games, I tend to buy the console version of multi-platform games. But one factor I always consider before making that choice is mods. When a game is popular with modders, then their creations can add many hours of fresh gameplay and even refinement of old gameplay.
User-generated content is increasingly common in console games (Little Big Planet, Guitar Hero: World Tour, Halo 3, etc). But console players are still limited to in-game toolsets, few of which are near as extensive as the Aurora toolset provided in Neverwinter Nights. Consoles have yet to see anything like this -- hundreds of mods, including graphical touch-ups, UI changes, new areas/levels, new skills, new items, and complete revamps. Total conversion mods, such as the Iron Grip mod for Half-Life 2, are unheard of in console games.
Now, I'm not denying that the inherent differences between current consoles and PCs matter in regard to modding potential. But if we can create console games from the PC, why can't we mod them from the PC?
Developers, do you worry about the resale market? While I generally agree with Gamestop CEO Dan DeMatteo, consider how much longer players would hold onto your game if a mod community could constantly refresh your game content at no charge to you. Modding can even improve game sales in general. I'm more likely to buy a game if I know modders will expand its replay value.
Mods for console games seems like a no-brainer. Shouldn't this be a goal?