FEZ Devs Won’t Fix Game-Breaking Patch Because of Microsoft
In late June, a patch for indie puzzle-platformer FEZ that was intended to fix a number of glitches and exploits had the inadvertent side effect of corrupting save files. The developer, Polytron, was working find out what went wrong and how to fix the issue as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Polytron today announced that it will not patch the patch.
Why not? According to the devs:
“Because microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game.”
Allegedly, the bug only happens to less than one percent of players, so Microsoft considered it “good enough” and gave Polytron the option: either pay to re-certify the game and issue a new patch, or simply put the patch back online.
For an indie developer, tens of thousands of dollars can be an incredible sum of money, especially to throw away at something that is essentially free on other platforms like Steam. Polytron wanted to clarify that Microsoft is not paying the developer for the exclusivity deal with XBLA — quite the opposite, in fact:
“We already owe microsoft a LOT of money for the privilege of being on their platform. People often mistakenly believe that we got paid by Microsoft for being exclusive to their platform. Nothing could be further from the truth. WE pay THEM.”
The good news came via Polytron’s Twitter account:
but HEY! only a few months left to our XBLA exclusivity!
— Polytron (@Polytron) July 19, 2012
If I were Polytron, I’d have the date circled on my calendar. For what it’s worth, Polytron, I’m sure no one will blame you for making the decision you made.