Since this story was originally published, Microsoft has responded to Phil Fish's claims regarding the patching process. Here is a quote Microsoft released in response to the patch costs being a problem:
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.
At this point, it is unknown how much of the fault is Microsoft's and how much of it belongs to Phil Fish. I will also clarify the original story by reiterating that the $40,000 price point for a patch came from Tim Schafer going on the record about his situation with Microsoft certification. Whatever the actual cost really is, it is a significant amount of money. Original Story: http://www.trueachievements.com/FEZ-xbox-360.htm
is being patched, or rather the old patch
is back online for people to download. While the save corruption issue still exists, it is only effecting 1% of Fez
players, which in this case is an "acceptable loss." Why is that considered acceptable by Fez
creator Phil Fish? Here's the verbatim press release posted on Polytron's website
. As always in cases like this, we believe the facts should come from the designers themselves:
We’re bringing the first FEZ patch online.
It’s the same patch.
We’re not going to patch the patch.
Why not? Because microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game.
And because as it turns out, the save file delete bug only happens to less than a percent of players. It’s a shitty numbers game to be playing for sure, but as a small independent, paying so much money for patches makes NO SENSE AT ALL. especially when you consider the alternative. Had FEZ been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us. And if there was an issue with that patch, we could have fixed that right away too!
We believe the save file corruption issue mostly happened to players who had completed, or almost completed the game. If you hadn’t already seen most of what FEZ had to offer, your save file is probably safe. It doesn’t happen if you start a new game.
We believe the current patch is safe for an overwhelming majority of players.
The patch fixes almost everything that’s been wrong with the game since launch. The framerate issues, the loading, the skips, the death loops, everything! All that stuff is fixed! And right now, nobody can get to it since the patch was pulled. For 99% of people, it makes FEZ a better game.
To the less-than-1% who are getting screwed, we sincerely apologize. We know this hurts you the most, because you’re the ones who put the most times into the game. And this breaks our hearts. We hope you dont think back on your time spent in FEZ as a total waste.
Microsoft gave us a choice: either pay a ton of money to re-certify the game and issue a new patch (which for all we know could introduce new issues, for which we’d need yet another costly patch), or simply put the patch back online. They looked into it, and the issue happens so rarely that they still consider the patch to be “good enough”.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but in the end, paying such a large sum of money to jump through so many hoops just doesn’t make any sense. 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.
So we’re going to go ahead and put Title Update back online, and for a vast majority of people it’s going to make FEZ a better game.
Thank you for your understanding and continuing support.
The Polytron Team
According to other developers, such as Double Fine's Tim Schafer and the team at Farsight Studios, the exact cost for a patch through Xbox LIVE is $40,000.
Given the problems smaller developers have been having with the pricing of their games on Xbox LIVE, inability to lock down release dates and now the exorbitant cost of issuing a patch, is it any wonder that indie developers are taking their talents to Steam? This is a growing issue and I am certain that the situation currently facing Polytronic Corporation will not be the last we hear of it.
For now, feel free to fire up Fez
and download the patch.