Okay, consider me mightily impressed by this move. Firaxis and 2K Games have announced that they have officially partnered with Long War Studios, creators of The Long War total conversion mod for XCOM: Enemy Unknown and expansion pack XCOM: Enemy Within.

Long War Studios has plans for Long War mod content for XCOM 2 on the day of launch. That’s February 5th for the calendar-less among you . The Long War Studios team consists of John Lumpkin, Rachel “Amineri” Norman and James “JCLewis” Karlson, and they have plans to create multiple mods for XCOM 2.

These mods are currently slated to be available at launch on February 5, 2016,” writes Firaxis. “We’ll have more information about the content of these mods soon.

Which all kinds of awesome, and an unprecedented move. Of course we’ve had plenty of mod tools provided and such, but to see a development work so closely with a mod team before a game has even launched is hugely promising stuff. The end result is there’s going to be a value proposition on day one above and beyond what you get in the base game. Clearly much is going to depend on the quality of Long War Studios’ mods, but if their previous efforts are any indicator then expect great things.

It’s not abundantly clear whether Long War Studios has a financial incentive here, but if there is then it’s great to see success borne out of such a well-regarded modding team. If you haven’t had a chance to try the Long War mod yet, it’s basically a total overhaul of XCOM’s systems. Not only does it extend the campaign but it includes larger squads, more classes, voice packs, and deeper interception system. As the name suggests, The Long War makes XCOM: Enemy Unknown a deeper, longer-lasting experience that enforces a tactical rethink.

It’s unlikely the Long War team can get anything that ambitious out in time for XCOM 2’s launch, but the building blocks are there to deliver similarly thorough experience. 

Mod support in for day one then, does this bump XCOM 2 up in your must-buy list?