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Microsoft has stopped charging developers for Xbox 360 patches – report

Thursday, 27th June 2013 10:40 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox 360 developers are no longer required to pay a fee to patch their games on Microsoft’s format, multiple sources have told Eurogamer.

The site’s report is based on input from several developers, and suggests that Microsoft is changing its approach to the indie scene. It allegedly dropped the patch submission fee earlier this year without little fanfare.

It follows damning reports from several indie developers who have called Microsoft a nightmare to work with, and I recently spoke with several indie teams that slammed the company’s high fees and limited post-launch support of their games.

Traditionally, Microsoft has charged studios to patch their games as they must undergo submission approval each time, often to the tune of several thousand dollars. It’s a factor that has seen many indie studios abandon the Xbox format, most recently Fez creator Phil Fish.

Eurogamer’s sources have said that re-certification fees as a result of patching or updates is now free for both digital and full retail games, but Microsoft still has the right to charge any developer submitting its game an excessive number of times due to it failing the process repeatedly – presumably as some form of deterrent or quality filter.

This could be the start of Microsoft’s rumoured indie strategy, which was said to be revealed at yesterday’s Build conference. As far as we know, no such announcement was made, but it was believed that the company was gearing up to announce self-publishing on Xbox Live during the event.

Would you like to see self-publishing on Xbox formats? Is Microsoft getting ready to change its approach? let us know below.

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31 Comments

  1. dex3108

    Little too late?

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Bam007

    Never too late. Finally, Fez can get the update it deserves!

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Djoenz

    Aaw very kind and generous of Microsoft.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Max Payne

    Can somebody explain to me why was this in a first place ?

    #4 1 year ago
  5. redwood

    horrible practice honestly.. wonder why the press didn’t give them an ass-whooping for having such stupid policies.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Tech-N9ne

    @4
    Is all about quality control, make sure your game is done the tested before you release and not come with all these silly patches. Also it cost MS to test these patches. This is done both on XBL and PSN, but obviously MS gets all the hate.

    I wonder how developer got their game right the first time back when it was all on cartridges

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Ireland Michael

    This is good news, but it should be standard practise frankly.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. KAP

    @1,2,3,4,5,6

    It’s very true, Microsoft seem to get a huge pass 99% of the time.. and I can’t for the life of me can’t understand why?!

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Ge0force

    @6 Patches on PS3 and Vita are already free for a while now. So yes, MS gets all the hate since they were the only one still charging for it.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. DSB

    Microsoft is like a rookie politician these days.

    “I’m improving lots of stuff, but I think I’m just gonna let someone else tell everyone about it”

    Amateur hour.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Ge0force

    @10 Microsoft is not improving anything. They are just dropping some ridiculous fees and limitations they’ve added themselves.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Tech-N9ne

    @9

    Since when? Sources? or Your just pulling this out of your ass?

    #12 1 year ago
  13. VibraniumSpork

    Well this can only be seen as good news, and a positive step towards what must surely be an inevitable switch to self-publishing from Microsoft. The bad taste of the XBone reveal still lingers, but week on week I see myself becoming more sure that I’ll pick up an XB1 at *some point* – still launch day for PS4 though.

    On another note, this is what? M$ Executive Turnaround #289? I bet their marketing peeps can’t tell from their arse from their elbow at this point…no change there at least.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Ge0force

    @12 Several indies have confirmed in interviews that patches on PS3 and Vita are free. Last one I remember is the DayZ dev:

    http://letsallplaygames.com/dayz-set-to-arrive-on-ps4-but-could-skip-xbox-one/

    #14 1 year ago
  15. DrDamn

    @14
    I don’t think it’s a general policy though. More concessions to some indie devs.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Clupula

    @13 – Honestly, all of these turn-arounds, don’t feel like they’re turning over a new leaf, but trying to lure people in before going back to the same old shit.

    I almost feel like each of these headlines should have, “Said the spider to the fly,” after them.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. redwood

    @15 I don’t think that would be a vise decision on sony’s part.companies don’t work like that

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Clupula

    @15 – I don’t think that’s the case. Especially when you look at a smaller niche company like NISA were able to patch a game like Disgaea 4, which is not a huge seller, to the point where, I just checked on my Game Data Utility, and it’s version 1.13 currently. I seriously doubt a small company like them will be able to or even willing to pay for each of those patches.

    Then you have a game like Injustice, where the season pass characters are done as compatibility packs on 360, but as just as a straight-up patch on PS3.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Judicas

    In b4 Konami comes up with some new excuse for not patching Silent Hill HD Collection for free

    #19 1 year ago
  20. noamlol2

    ok my broken game fixes wishlist:

    first off sonic 06, i was released bug filled, now sega fix it

    second dark messiah of might and magic elements fix the fucking trash multiplayer

    the game didn’t have even a first patch to it WTF

    third CDPR you really have to fix the roche’s path king slayer mission

    the mine dectection is godawful,

    now that’s my wish list, so go on lazy developers do your thing

    #20 1 year ago
  21. noamlol2

    @6 aye i agree

    but when you get a broken game like sonic 06 or dark messiah of might and magic elements and the developers are to fucking skimpy to patch it up

    it creates a 5$ game on Ebay

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Ekona

    They *should be* charging for patches.

    From a business view, if it costs MS money because developers are too lazy/incompetent to get a game right the first go and it needs a patch, why shouldn’t they charge? Tbh, I’d expect Sony to be charging as well and it’s puzzling that they don’t.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. ps3fanboy

    everyone have now gone to sony to do their ‘self publishing’. its too late mickey$oft…

    #23 1 year ago
  24. MCTJim

    how about this..dont release broken crap. I agree with the no self publish as a rogue or crap program can indeed wreak havoc on a network…Dev’s can complain all they want but would you want a program that is broken released that could essentially brick systems? No, I think not.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. ChunkyLover112

    #23 – It’s not too late…

    It’s indeed very generous of them.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Cobra951

    I’m pleasantly shocked. No, it’s not too late, assuming free patching carries on to the XB1. Even on the 360, it should make a good difference. Maybe now Phil Fish will finally fix Fez flawlessly? :P (Fat chance.)

    You meant “*with* little fanfare”, right?

    #26 1 year ago
  27. laughing-gravy

    @15 It is general policy for all devs.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. Maabren

    Nice. MS are getting closer. Just get rid of Kinect and we may get talking down the road.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. fearmonkey

    This is why competition is a good thing. MS is the type that works hard to get to top position, and then acts like you will take anything they dish out afterwards. They got humbled so they are making nice strides again, but this wouldnt have happened without a nice humbling.

    Sony was the same though, as was Nintendo at one time with their cartridges.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. laughing-gravy

    They need to let the indies self publish.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. Gigabomber

    Well look at that: one of these companies is interested in actually changing their policies.

    #31 1 year ago

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