Microsoft Drop Charges For Patching Games

To paraphrase the song, ‘Anything you can do, we can do a bit later’.  Earlier this year Sony announced that charges for patching games were to be dropped and now Microsoft is to follow suit.

Previously, publishers had been charged a large fee for patching bugs in their games but as of April this year once an initial certification fee has been paid and the game has been released there will be no further charges for Xbox publishers.

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Microsoft are also dropping the repeat charges for games that fail certification the first time and will be simplifying the process but they do reserve the right to charge for “excessive” re-submissions.

The now-dropped fee was charged by the console giant to try and make publishers spend as much time as possible on their games so they were as close to perfect as possible before release.  Many developers thought the charge was excessive with Double Fine’s Tim Schafer suggesting the fee was near $40,000.

The policy lead to a number of games to remain unpatched including Fez. “We’re not going to patch the patch,” said Phil Fish, “Why not? Because Microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game.” Konami also left the Silent Hill HD Collection unpatched on Xbox 360 despite issuing a patch for the PS3 version.

Whilst this is excellent news the Indie developers will likely continue to flock towards PlayStation until Microsoft drop the requirement for a publisher.

Source: OXM

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17 Comments

  1. Baby steps, but there’s still a feeling that MS are reacting far too slowly, and only because they’ll lose out if they don’t.

  2. This is just for 360 title updates though isn’t it…. we’ll have to see if this carries forward to Xbox One.

    • I would assume it was.

      • & what does assuming make???

      • Usually, hilarious fu**-ups. :-)

      • @double-o-dave
        An ass of out of u and ming!
        Hmm, only really works with assume :)

      • Someon mention ass?

  3. There are two ways to look at this, yes it is good for Indie developers that they will not be charged.

    But we could see more games being released that are not finished as the financial punishment to repair their mistakes has been removed.

    • That’s my thoughts too. There were a lot of games released about a year or so after PS3’s launch that had loads of bugs etc, the worst one I played was NFS: Shift. Lately there’s been a lot less so I’m hoping we don’t get loads more.

      • $40,000 is barely even a splash in the water for big publishers, when such a sum of money can really put a small company up against the wall.

      • Worst example I’ve known is Black Bean and SBK-X, they acknowledged that it wasn’t possible to get the final and platinum trophy (EU version) without a patch that they were “working on”. Needless to say, that patch never materialised and so the game remains half arsed with two fingers up to to anyone who contacted them regarding the issue via an automated robotic email reply.
        Prime example I suppose of where moves like the gratis patch charging would have be most welcomed!

  4. This helps the the guys behind DayZ with their console port. Now all Xbox have to do is allow self publishing and the platform will be just as attractive as PlayStation for them.

  5. This stinks of “Forget about Sony, we’re just as good as them”. :p

  6. Will IW patch MW2 now?
    Someone just fix that game already.

  7. so, will fish patch Fez now? o_O

    anyway, this has to be a good thing for smaller devs.
    mind you, so would allowing self publishing.

    • Mr Fish was asked if he would patch Fez and declined to comment.

      So no.

  8. This is where mobile publishing excels, little to no QA (publisher responsibilty), super quick turnaround from approval to release and no patch fees. Consoles need to learn from some of these processes.

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