Microsoft: ‘We Offered to Work with Polytron’ on Fez Patch Cost
Microsoft left the decision to issue a new patch to address issues of Xbox Live Arcade title FEZ to developer Polytron and also offered to work with the company to deal with the costs associated with it, according to a statement from the platform maker.
According to a blog post by Polytron’s Phil Fish, the developer chose not to issue a new patch for FEZ because it would have cost “tens of thousands of dollars” to do so. The initial title update for FEZ, issued about a month ago, included a glitch that could cause a small percentage of players to lose all their saved progress when updating the game. Fish wrote in his post that Polytron decided to reissue the broken patch because it significantly improved the game for the vast majority of players, and said that Polytron could not afford to issue another patch.
But Microsoft said in a statement emailed to Game Front that it offered to work with Polytron and its investor, Trapdoor, to keep the cost of the patch from being a “blocking issue” to fixing the game. The full statement is below.
Polytron and their investor, Trapdoor, made the decision not to work on an additional title update for FEZ. Microsoft Studios chose to support this decision based on the belief that Polytron/Trapdoor were in the best position to determine what the acceptable quality level is for their game.
While we do not disclose the cost of Title Updates, we did offer to work with Trapdoor to make sure that wasn’t a blocking issue.
We remain huge fans of Fez.
According to a story from Penny Arcade Report on the issue, Microsoft’s policy on Xbox Live Arcade games is to avoid patching them, and the certification process for games works to make them as polished as possible. That story states that Microsoft gives certification and allows developers to make a title update for free, but charges $40,000 for additional updates as a way of discouraging the need for them.
Polytron also would have known the cost of such patches in its contract with Microsoft when it decided to make the game an Xbox Live exclusive. As Jim Sterling pointed out, Polytron wasn’t required to sign up with Microsoft in making its game. In fact, while Fish mentions that if FEZ had been released on PC on Steam, the patch would have been made much more quickly and easily — but at the time of FEZ’s release, he was adamant that it was not a PC game on Twitter. Fish tweeted the following in September: “It’s a console game. For consoles. PCs are for spreadsheets.”
We’ll post additional updates on this story as it develops.