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Developer won't patch XBLA game because Microsoft would charge 'tens of thousands' of dollars

Sharif Sakr

Seeing as how so much software is moving to online distribution, the significance of this controversy might extend far beyond gaming and XBLA. For now, however, the spotlight is firmly on Microsoft and the way it charges developers for testing their games and patches, after a well-known developer made an unusually public complaint. In a post on its official blog, Polytron said it would not patch a rare game-saving bug in its popular title Fez, because Microsoft would charge it "tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game." It added that "had Fez been released on Steam instead of XBLA," the problem would have been fixed "right away" and at no cost to the developer, which strongly hints that it'll jump to another platform as soon as its XBLA exclusivity expires. Responses to the story over at our sister site Joystiq are decidedly mixed, with some folks outraged that Microsoft's high maintenance attitude could hold back improvements in this way while others suspect Polytron of blame-shifting.

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