VR Chat appears to be banning mods in a roundabout way.
Though fan-made mods are technically against VR Chat‘s terms of service, they have always been the game’s beating heart. So why is it banning them? Doesn’t that seem a little weird, considering VR Chat‘s popularity was built on fan-made mods? The short answer is that the trouble started when VRChat implemented Easy Anti-Cheat.
As reported by PCGamer, VRChat Inc. embraced Easy Anti-Cheat after it found “malicious” mods were “responsible for a massive amount of issues for both our team and our users”. In a blog post regarding the implementation, VRChat Inc. is blunt. “The integration of EAC means that all modified clients are blocked.”
So why is this an issue? PCGamer’s Mollie Taylor explains, “The vanilla game can run poorly and has a stark lack of accessibility features, something that the mods are often making up for.”
Players have found that EAC has rendered many fan-made mods useless, including some that provide accessibility options for deaf and hard-of-hearing players.
@VRChat “VRC-CC” is a mod that adds closed captions to movie worlds so deaf/HH people can watch movies with their friends. VRChat is killing that today by banning all mods. They’ve done absolutely nothing to address serious accessibility gaps on their platform. Please RT pic.twitter.com/DuJSUJCb4n
— Foxipso (@TheFoxipso) July 25, 2022
This change has also resulted in VRChat‘s Steam review score dropping significantly to ‘Overwhelmingly Negative’, with the large majority of reviews criticising the implementation of EAC.
One negative review by user Zullfix details what the addition of EAC would do to VRChat:
Another post, this time on Resetera, comes from a member of the VRChat community delving into their thoughts on the EAC addition:
Since the negative response to its announcement, VRChat Inc. has provided an update to the initial blog post, outlining its plans for the future:
We are reprioritizing, reorganizing, and changing our internal development roadmap to focus on the feedback you’ve given us.
Let’s follow that up with the hard part: we are going to be releasing this update, and we do not have plans or intent to revert or roll it back.
However, we hear you and see you saying that many of the modified client features that are being lost due to this are extremely important to you, or in some cases allow you to use VRChat at all, when in regards to modifications that added accessibility features that VRChat currently lacks.
Addressing these concerns and feedback is our highest priority. We are changing our internal development roadmap and priorities to focus on the features and additions that you want. Currently ongoing projects are being paused, rescheduled, or re-prioritized, and resources are being re-allocated to account for this change.
In addition to the information we already had on hand, we’ve been talking to VRChat communities and community leaders about the changes and additions that they want most, including speaking to communities focused on accessibility to VRChat. We’ve also been watching and documenting constructive feedback via our typical channels like our Feedback boards, social media, and this Discord.
Our first priority for these changes is addressing several accessibility concerns in VRChat. We’ve got an internal list of improvements we can implement quickly and are fast-tracking it through our production and implementation process. We will be posting more information about those changes tomorrow.
Those changes will not be our last. We have more planned and are gathering more information to understand and address more of your needs. As noted before, we are immediately adjusting internal development to address these changes.
Thank you for your patience as we work as quickly as we can to address your concerns and your feedback. We’ll be back as soon as possible with the first set of these updates, changes, and features.
Here’s hoping the VRChat community’s prayers are answered soon.