Microsoft removes developer charges for 360 patching

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.

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Latest comments (13)

Christophe Danguien games developer 6 years ago
6 months before the new Xbox is released...yeah right, shouldn't they have done it like 4 years ago ?
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A side effect of World of Tanks negotiations?
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Brian Smith Artist 6 years ago
Better than never I guess.
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Show all comments (13)
Steven Hodgson Programmer, Code in Progress Ltd6 years ago
Patches are coming, prepare your internets
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
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)...
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Caleb Hale Journalist 6 years ago
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.
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Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design6 years ago
Better late than never. Shame this didn't happen during Fez's release.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 6 years ago
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.
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James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada6 years ago
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.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
@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...
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Kareem Merhej Designer, infoLink-inc6 years ago
Better late than never?
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 6 years ago
If true: it's about damn time.
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Paul Acevedo Games Editor, Windows Central6 years ago
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.
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