Phil Fish confirms XBLA patch for Fez

Outspoken dev to address long-standing issues with downloadable hit

Phil Fish has finally committed to releasing a patch for the Xbox Live Arcade version of Fez, almost a year after the problem it will address first surfaced.

Fish announced the patch on Twitter yesterday, adding the caveat that the process will, "take a few months" to complete. His decision arrives in the wake of Microsoft lifting developer charges for patching on the Xbox 360 - a point of some contention among independent developers, among whom Fish was the most vocal.

All Xbox Live Arcade games are given one free update, but Fez encountered a problem that corrupted certain players' save files after Fish had used that allowance. Ultimately, Fish decided not to pay the "tens of thousands" of dollars required to release the patch and pass certification for the second time, on the grounds that less than one percent of the game's player-base was affected.

Fez went on to sell 200,000 copies on XBLA - as of April 2013 - but issues like the prohibitive cost of releasing updates for games has prompted Fish to publicly back away from the platform for Fez 2. Last month, Fish stated his preference for PlayStation 4 in the next-generation.

"With Microsoft they've made it painfully clear they don't want my ilk on their platform," he said. "I can't even self-publish there. Whereas on PS4, I can. It's that simple. Microsoft won't let me develop for their console. But Sony will."

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Latest comments (7)

James Boulton Owner, Retro HQ Ltd8 years ago
I must admit Sony are doing all the right things for indie devs. They are being extremely supportive to us small guys, helping us bring games to their platform, and all-round making our lives a lot easier. Kudos!
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Steven Hodgson Programmer, Code in Progress Ltd8 years ago
For many at this point, the damage is already done. Depending when your save was corrupted, you may not want to play through again.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games8 years ago
So let me get it straight and lets disregard whether it is fair or not to ask money for a fix or what is the logic behind it.

There is a problem that doesn't allow people to enjoy your game, a game you have made decent money out of it, and you do not fix it as a matter of principle because the platform holder asks 10k out of you?
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David M Lopez Studying Game Art and Design, Art Institute of California - San Diego8 years ago
It's sad when developers won't fix a game that was released broken. He didn't want to pay the fee and the only reason he is doing it now is to save face. A lot of people are put off by his attitude and the way he does business. Now that Fez 2 is in development he is trying make good with gamers. I do not think that many will buy his game. Fez wasn't that entertaining anyway.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David M Lopez on 7th July 2013 9:48pm

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Adrian Herber8 years ago
@David M: Your comment doesn't make sense. Phil is releasing the patch now because it won't cost him $10K anymore, which is a significant amount of money for an indie dev, and also the point that he was fighting against on principle. It doesn't matter whether you think it really was about the principle for him, or about the money, either way I'm sure he is really happy to be able to release a patch for the game-breaking bug now.
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd8 years ago
The fee being asked was considerably more than $10k.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
David, you are fortunate you've not yet had to deal with the incredibly expensive rectification fees from MS. They could easily put an indie developer out of business. Now that MS has removed that fee for the X360, patches are viable for those without deep pockets.
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