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Microsoft removes developer charges for 360 patching

Microsoft removes developer charges for 360 patching

Thu 27 Jun 2013 9:41am GMT / 5:41am EDT / 2:41am PDT
HardwarePublishingDevelopment

Now free to update any title on the system

Microsoft removed all charges related to updating and patching 360 games for developers in April, the platform holder has confirmed.

The news was originally broken by Eurogamer, citing several sources for proof of the story. Microsoft has since confirmed the story, although has declined to explain why it didn't make the decision public at the time.

Games had always been afforded one update free of charge, after paying for certification, but developers have been coming out of the woodwork to attest to the fact that, within reason, no more charges will be levelled for patching. The levels of that reasonableness are yet to be fully quantified, as Microsoft hasn't released any more details, but it's thought that excessive patching or updating of a game will still incur fees, as will repeated certification failure.

Previously, Microsoft had charged tens of thousands of dollars to update or patch games, leading some prominent indies to leave titles unpatched - either because they felt that the costs were prohibitive or to raise awareness of the extent of the charges.

Notoriously, one of those developers was Polytron's Phil Fish, whose indie smash hit Fez suffered a bug which corrupted some save files. The result of a patch itself, this bug went untreated because fixing it would have required recertification, a process which Fish felt was over-priced and unaffordable. Double Fine's Tim Shafer and Super Meat Boy studio Team Meat have also spoken out about the costs.

It's unknown whether Microsoft's generosity will be extended to similar levels for the ecosystem of the Xbox One, but Microsoft has been contacted for confirmation and further details.

14 Comments

Christophe Danguien
games developer

67 82 1.2
Popular Comment
6 months before the new Xbox is released...yeah right, shouldn't they have done it like 4 years ago ?

Posted:A year ago

#1
Popular Comment
A side effect of World of Tanks negotiations?

Posted:A year ago

#2

Brian Smith
Artist

195 84 0.4
Better than never I guess.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Steven Hodgson
Programmer

81 121 1.5
Patches are coming, prepare your internets

Posted:A year ago

#4

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,156 1,076 0.5
Sister-site Eurogamer is citing several sources for proof of the story, a change which apparently occurred some time ago with no fanfare from Microsoft at all.
Oh good lord on a shoe heel (again). You'd THINK if this was indeed the case, they'd have the smarts to promote it a lot better than "with no fanfare". What, they wanted indie devs to keep paying or leaving games unpatched until someone clued them in?

Oh, I fixed that spelling for you (free of charge)...

Posted:A year ago

#5

Caleb Hale
Journalist

154 229 1.5
Popular Comment
Good that Microsoft has removed the recertification fees, but why would anyone think the company would give this fanfare? There are only so many about-faces on policy you can make in a given month, before people start to suspect you were just trying to see how much you could milk them all along.

Posted:A year ago

#6

Steven Pick
Lead Graphic Designer

70 14 0.2
Better late than never. Shame this didn't happen during Fez's release.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,072 1,007 0.9
Better late than never.
With summer outside and new consoles in fall, this technically counts as never. Because if you are a core gamer, you will never benefit from it.

Posted:A year ago

#8

James Berg
Games User Researcher

146 187 1.3
This is great news. Belated, painfully so both professionally and personally, but great news regardless.

@Klaus, I disagree strongly there. Just because there are new consoles doesn't mean every 'core gamer' is jumping ship right away.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,156 1,076 0.5
@Caleb: Ha! Well, that's what they were trying to do and yup, they got found out. SO they may as well do the full disclosure thing before Phil Fish gets to tweetin.. oh never mind. He teed off on this already and it was a doozy of a doozy of a read. My eyes are still burning...

Posted:A year ago

#10

Kareem Merhej
Designer

21 27 1.3
Better late than never?

Posted:A year ago

#11

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

900 1,330 1.5
If true: it's about damn time.

Posted:A year ago

#12

Paul Acevedo
Games Editor

16 18 1.1
This article states that Microsoft no longer charges fees for ANY Xbox 360 game. However, the wording in all of Microsoft's confirmations specifically states arcade games. Whether the fees apply to retail games any longer still needs to be investigated.

Posted:A year ago

#13

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