DICE believes the once-popular practice of "modding" games – whereby amateur hobbyists take a published game and use tools provided by the developer to modify it into a new experience for players – is on the way out.
"Modding is a declining trend actually," said Patrick Bach, the executive producer on Battlefield 3, in an interview with Gameplanet. "It’s sad to say. We’ve seen some cool mods but since games are getting more complicated to build, it’s also getting more complicated to mod them, so it’s a declining trend as we see it. Sad but true."
Bach would not be drawn on whether Battlefield 3 will include any tools for modding: "We don’t have any information on that right now, at all."
Various mods have been released for previous games in DICE's Battlefield series, such as the Desert Combat modern warfare mod for Battlefield 1942.
Modding grew to prominence in the age of id Software's Quake in the mid '90s. Quake was readily modifiable and spawned many popular mods including Team Fortress and Rocket Arena. The popularity of mods peaked with the Counter-Strike mod for Half-Life, which was later acquired by Valve.
Once lauded as an avenue of growth, creativity and innovation in the games industry, modding's star has waned as more of the business has drifted away from PCs and onto console platforms, which have no modding capability.