Minecraft claims most day-one XBLA sales but Fez developer unhappy at preferential treatment

Friday, 11th May 2012 04:35 GMT By Matt Williams

Minecraft has overtaken Trials Evolution to set a new day-one sales record on the Xbox Live Arcade release, but Fez developer Polytron has claimed that Mojang was given special treatment not available to other studios.

Microsoft made the announcement earlier today, but will not yet confirm the exact sales figures.

Yesterday Markus ‘Notch’ Perrson announced that the title had reclaimed all development costs within its first hour of release.

The news upset Fez developer Polytron, who took to Twitter to question how Notch was able to learn such data so fast. “[H]ow did you get those stats from MS?” the developer asked. “[W]e still dont know exactly how much fez sold almost a month later. you get stats in 24 hours?”

Notch was apparently unaware that the quickness of the sales figures was out of the ordinary. “What? Really? I thought it was standard procedure! That sucks,” he responded.

Polytron further informed Notch that he had been given preferential treatment in being allowed free updates. “[Y]ou’re also getting free updates, which is something every other developer on the platform is told is simply not an option,” the developer stated.

Notch responded to the allegations stating that Mojang “had to fight for that, and we got a limited number of them. Not sure why they don’t like it.”

In follow up, Polytron state that Microsoft contacted them regarding the sales figures. Polytron also clarified their concerns, stating that “minecraft did not get preferencial [sic] treatment regarding sale stats. just for the free updates!”

Thanks, Eurogamer.



  1. jacobvandy

    Those Fez guys sound like a bunch of drama queens. Mojang probably are getting special treatment, but they’ve got millions of little green reasons as to why… Maybe 28,524,728 registered users on your website is the threshold at which MS treats an indie developer like a business partner rather than an independent contractor that should be grateful for the opportunity.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. KodyxDestroyer

    @1 That Fez guy. Only one person.

    God will this guy bitch about anything? Seriously, “oh, this guy sold more than me on Xbox Live obviously he is getting better treatment then me. Oh this guy has his sale stats already, must be getting special treatment.” Bitches about the game industry, calls gamers the most terrible people he’s ever met, acts like his game is some kind of revolutionary god. Well Phil Fish you are a nobody no one gives a fuck about you, you made one game that was slightly good, this doesn’t mean shit. You have no control over the industry like you try to act like you do. So go fuck yourself Phil Fish.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Old MacDonald

    It is insane, though, that devs have to pay (quite a lot) to be allowed to update their games. And Minecraft X360 only got “a few” free upgrades, so obviously the idea of that being as frequently updated as the PC version is pretty unrealistic.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Hunam

    This is why it baffles me that devs keep using GFWL, it’s basically costing them money to do things that are free to do on PC. It’s like they are opting into paying more for the hell of it.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Hybridpsycho

    This guy is a cunt :)

    Also a drama queen.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    Obviously the guy isn’t deserving of sympathy, but at the same time I can’t help think that it’s classic Microsoft. Nothing ever comes easy, or with any sort of courtesy or convenience towards the customers, and apparently not the vendor either.

    @4 Yeah, GFWL is pretty much the embodiment of the DRM tragedy. Companies spending money to make less of a profit, while offering a poor service to their customers. It’s not good business, or even close to just common sense.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Ireland Michael

    The guy isn’t complaining about the sales of the game. He’s not even criticizing Notch. His issues is with, as he phrased it, the “preferential treatment” by Microsoft of certain studios. And if you have even the slightest inkling of how XBLA is run, you’d understand that his criticism is completely founded.

    Microsoft is almost entirely in control of the release date, advertising and promotion of every game on XBLA. If they want to push you game back to a quiet month or sandwich it in amongst the stuff they *want* to promote, tough shit. There’s not a thing you can do about it. And if you want to be feature in their special promotions (like the currently running Arcade NEXT releases) don’t even *consider* the thought of releasing your game on any other format for at least another six months, or it simply isn’t going to happen.

    Microsoft are complete control freaks when it comes to this stuff, and this guy’s criticism is completely warranted and fair.

    The media loves a scapegoat. That’s all these kind of articles are. Scapegoating.

    #7 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.