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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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