The controversial Skyrim Together mod is once again under scrutiny after its chief creator declared: "we don't owe the community anything."
Lead programmer Max Griot took to the Skyrim Together subreddit to respond to a thread titled "is something going to happen?" that was posted after months of radio silence on the project.
Skyrim Together aims to add online multiplayer to Bethesda's hugely popular open-world fantasy RPG, and pulls in an impressive $18,284 a month on Patreon.
But it's been some time since the Patreon-only playtest held earlier this year - and disgruntled players want to know what's up.
"First of all we don't owe the community anything," Griot said in the reddit post.
"We give updates if we feel like spending time doing it, right now it's the same as before 'we are still fixing bugs'.
"Secondly we are NOT making this for the community, if anything the community has been so toxic we even considered saying 'fuck it' and give up or continue but never release anything to the public, we are making this for ourselves because we think it's a very fun project to work on and we learn a ton doing this. People leaving is the least of our concern as they will come back when it's released, we aren't trying to build a community.
"Please let us be and do things the way we want."
As you'd expect, this post didn't go down well, and a number of Skyrim Together fans, community members, players and Patrons roundly criticised Griot for it.
Skyrim Together was already under pressure after being called a "scam" for pulling in such a huge amount through Patreon. Griot is also a controversial figure within the Skyrim mod community. In March 2019, he was forced to defend himself from accusations of stealing code in a Skyrim Together controversy that sent shockwaves around the modding community.
The current kerfuffle caused Skyrim Together developer Pokanggg to take to reddit to issue a quick update on progress. They insisted work slowed recently but should pick up again.
"We are still working on the mod," Pokanggg said. "Some developers whose work is crucial were not available at all lately because they were very busy, but progress should be coming back at a more normal pace now, from what I know. Sorry for the lack of updates, there's just not really much to talk about lately."
In a later post, Pokanggg elaborated: "We're all students or have day jobs, and most of the mod needs a lot of reverse engineering into Skyrim itself.
"I don't work on that part of the mod but reverse engineering is very time consuming, and it makes the mod as a whole fairly unstable, we never know which bugfixing will take a lot of time or will not, it's very unpredictable.
"We didn't plan on having the mod crash so much, we've collected a ton of crash reports and we're working on fixing these crashes now.
"Thank you, we don't plan on giving up, no worries, we're doing all we can to get the mod out."
The response to Pokanggg's post has been mixed, with some suggesting the mod makers take their time, others continuing to cast doubt on their ability to release Skyrim Together.
All the while, the amount of money the Skyrim Together Patreon is pulling in falls. It's currently at $18,284 a month - but at one point it was double that. As the weeks go by without a beta launch of Skyrim Together, expect that number to continue to fall.