Developers can now patch Xbox Live Arcade games at no charge

By Ural Garrett , Updated Jun 28, 2013 03:14 PM EDT
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Patches for games on the Xbox Live Arcade releases were the bane of developers, especially smaller and indie studios, because of how expensive it is. Microsoft now has a change of heart and won't be charging developers to patch Xbox Live Arcade games, according to reports.

In an Eurogamer article, multiple sources told the publication that Microsoft made the policy change earlier this after charging developers tens of thousands of dollars to patch games. 

The Windows maker normally charged a fee for developers who submitted their games to Microsoft's certification process before being approved for release. Microsoft grants developers one title update free of charge but reserves the right to charge a fee after an excess number of re-submissions fail certification. Reasons for the fee included encouraging Xbox developers to spend more time focusing on game quality before seeing a release.

This policy change would lift the burden of smaller and independent studios like Double Fine, whose boss Tim Shafer mentioned a $40,000 cost to patch Xbox 360 games. 

Fez developer Phil Fish declined patching the Xbox 360 version even after a patch corrupted saved game files due to sheer expense of recertification. 

"It's a shitty numbers game to be playing for sure," Fish wrote on his blog before mentioning Fez's loss of Xbox Live Arcade exclusivity in the coming months. "but a small independent paying so much money for patches makes NO SENSE AT ALL."

Along with the Microsoft's undoing of self-publishing on Xbox One, Fish alluded taking Fez's sequel to Sony's Playstation 4 due to the hardware maker's "anti-indie policies."

"I hope it's a joke," said Fish. " I hope Microsoft is pulling a New Coke on us, announcing a shit console nobody wants, only to eventually announce the Xbox Classic and winning back everybody's hears. Microsoft is making a console for itself. Not for gamers. Not for developers. Just for its own, greedy Orwellian self. I'm not interested."

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