Microsoft has stopped charging developers for Xbox 360 patches – report

Thursday, 27 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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