Fez Patch Back Online With No Save Fix Coming

Fez Patch Back Online With No Save Fix Coming

Update: Microsoft responds to criticism

Written by Dog of Thunder on 20 July 12 at 13:36 , updated on 20 July 12 at 13:36 | Credit to Twinkling82

Update: 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.

Sincerely,

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.
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litepink
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:36, Edited on 20 July 12 at 13:40 by litepink
I’d love to remain neutral on this, but can’t help myself:

I think Phil Fish (of Polytron) could be forgiven for not spending $40,000 on a patch that affects 1% of the player base. Doesn’t seem to make financial sense to me, even if there are repercussions pertaining to the sales of Fez and future titles. What I find damning is his whining and finger pointing about it. He agreed to have his product sold on Xbox LIVE Arcade, so he knew what he was getting into. To turn around and try and point fingers at Microsoft looks childish to me. He made a spectacular game that has some flaws – apologize and move on.

So Steam is so much better he says? He once said PC’s are “just for spreadsheets” facepalm. He also said modern Japanese games “just suck”, but when people said negative things about his game prior to release he said that handling the internet backlash was hard and that he doesn’t have “thick skin”. This coming from a guy who proclaimed that gamers are the “worst kind of people”.

Seems he can dish it but can’t take it, and apparently likes to point fingers at others for his own wrongdoing. Therefore, Phil Fish is giant toddler in my eyes. (I hope he doesn’t read this, he might not be able to take it). A very smart and talented egotistical toddler.
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grex9101
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:39
40k, eh?

That in no way relates to what it costs m$ to do the work.

You'd hope that it would stop developers releasing half-finished games, but in reality it just seems to prevent developers fixing games after they're released. Poor show ms!
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Arron114
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Arron114
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:39
Wow this article is like groundhog day. Wheres Bill Murrey?
KitsuneChaos - Do not own an Xbox anymore.
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:41
Actually have to agree with litepink word-for-word.
zoidberg1339
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:46
Eh, I didn't care for fez at all, patch or no patch. Highly overrated game if you ask me.
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:49
I will no longer whine or bitch or anything regarding a patch etc now I know exactly how much it costs...BUT they should get it right first time so no patch is needed =P lol
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YA BILLY
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:51
I have even moved alot of my gaming $$ to steam recently. The prices are way cheaper and it much better than gfwl. Steam is a force to be reckoned with for sure.
Sean Reinhardl
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Last post: 20 Oct at 13:22
Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:51
$40k a patch how are EPIC games still in porfit after gow2
Dog of Thunder - $4,544 raised for Extra-Life. Team TA will obliterate the $5k goal.
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:53
All the developers from Indie Game: The Movie signed deals with Microsoft many years ago when the 360's marketplace was just starting up. All three (Team Meat, Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish) have come to regret it for various reasons. Of those three, only one (Fish), decided to trash another platform (in this case, PC's) before admitting that maybe, just maybe, his artsy platformer would be a better fit on PC.

I'd feel bad for the guy, but after his comments regarding the Japanese gaming industry, I feel like this is instant karma.
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Matrarch
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:53
litepink said:I’d love to remain neutral on this, but can’t help myself:

I think Phil Fish (of Polytron) could be forgiven for not spending $40,000 on a patch that affects 1% of the player base. Doesn’t seem to make financial sense to me, even if there are repercussions pertaining to the sales of Fez and future titles. What I find damning is his whining and finger pointing about it. He agreed to have his product sold on Xbox LIVE Arcade, so he knew what he was getting into. To turn around and try and point fingers at Microsoft looks childish to me. He made a spectacular game that has some flaws – apologize and move on.

So Steam is so much better he says? He once said PC’s are “just for spreadsheets” facepalm. He also said modern Japanese games “just suck”, but when people said negative things about his game prior to release he said that handling the internet backlash was hard and that he doesn’t have “thick skin”. This coming from a guy who proclaimed that gamers are the “worst kind of people”.

Seems he can dish it but can’t take it, and apparently likes to point fingers at others for his own wrongdoing. Therefore, Phil Fish is giant toddler in my eyes. (I hope he doesn’t read this, he might not be able to take it). A very smart and talented egotistical toddler.
I've been thinking the same thing, but couldn't quite articulate it. Well said, lp.
Manifest95
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:54
It's hard to go either way with this one. While I love that he shined the light on MS and told people who love to complain about patches not being released, I agree with litepink that he knew what he was getting into. Let's face it, being exclusive with MS meant that he was after the most profitable option. With sales like the Summer Sale on Steam right now, PC games can be picked up for real cheap shortly after release. While not wanting to spend the $40,000 is understanding, he could have left it right there instead of getting into a rant.

Lets face it, we all complained about MS at one point. But saying "hey, things would have been better if I went to Steam" to a MS community was kind of a dick move.

EDIT: I also don't understand it then that if each patch costs $40,000, then why are some developers telling us that they submitted a patch months ago and are waiting on MS. I know if I spent $40k just to upgrade my own game, I will want it done a hell of a lot faster.
RancidSkank
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:56
Maybe developers should fully playtest games instead of firing them out of the fucking door with their eyes on the prize.

I appreciate that games often release with bugs even after extensive playtesting, but how many of us have run out and paid full price on launch for a game, only to get it home and find it broken and end up benching it?

I notice Fish also fails to mention that the first patch is actually free with Microsoft, but because they failed to fix the save problem with their first patch, they would then get hit with the charge on the second one, and decided it would be more beneficial to them to release the same patch, still broken, to save themselves the money.

All this leaves a bitter taste, and in the long run people might do well to remember this when buying another of their games, or deciding not to as the case may be.
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 13:57
Manifest95 said:EDIT: I also don't understand it then that if each patch costs $40,000, then why are some developers telling us that they submitted a patch months ago and are waiting on MS. I know if I spent $40k just to upgrade my own game, I will want it done a hell of a lot faster.Each patch has to go through MS re-certification, which Phil mentions in his letter to the community. The re-certification process takes at least 2 weeks and can go for up to 6 weeks. If the patch is not certified, the developer has to fix the issue and send it back in, which is why some patches can take months before they are released.

I feel really, really bad for Farsight Studios (The Pinball Arcade). Know why the 360 has yet to receive ANY of the DLC tables? Turns out, one of the Farsight Studios guys mistakenly put "2013" as the year of release for their game when submitting it to Microsoft. That means Microsoft won't let them put out DLC until April 4th, 2013, since that's what the paperwork says is the actual date of release.

My head hurts as a result of reading some of these stories.
"Someday you're going to pay for a nice little vacation bungalow for some shrink DoT..." - Van Uden
Dog of Thunder - $4,544 raised for Extra-Life. Team TA will obliterate the $5k goal.
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 14:00
RancidSkank said:All this leaves a bitter taste, and in the long run people might do well to remember this when buying another of their games, or deciding not to as the case may be.I'm in the "not to" camp myself, as yes, that decision was heavily influenced by Fish himself.
"Someday you're going to pay for a nice little vacation bungalow for some shrink DoT..." - Van Uden
Phototropic
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 14:01
Microsoft's certification cost sounds ridiculous and it's good that it's being spotlighted. It sounds like something that needs to be changed. However, leaving a game in this state is unacceptable for customers. I will not be purchasing anything from Polytron in the future.

I sympathize with their situation, but the company's relationship with MS is not my issue. They should chalk it up to a learning experience and not release future products on XBLA if that makes more sense for their business.
Z4M0
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 14:08, Edited on 20 July 12 at 14:10 by Z4M0
litepink said:I’d love to remain neutral on this, but can’t help myself:

I think Phil Fish (of Polytron) could be forgiven for not spending $40,000 on a patch that affects 1% of the player base. Doesn’t seem to make financial sense to me, even if there are repercussions pertaining to the sales of Fez and future titles. What I find damning is his whining and finger pointing about it. He agreed to have his product sold on Xbox LIVE Arcade, so he knew what he was getting into. To turn around and try and point fingers at Microsoft looks childish to me. He made a spectacular game that has some flaws – apologize and move on.

So Steam is so much better he says? He once said PC’s are “just for spreadsheets” facepalm. He also said modern Japanese games “just suck”, but when people said negative things about his game prior to release he said that handling the internet backlash was hard and that he doesn’t have “thick skin”. This coming from a guy who proclaimed that gamers are the “worst kind of people”.

Seems he can dish it but can’t take it, and apparently likes to point fingers at others for his own wrongdoing. Therefore, Phil Fish is giant toddler in my eyes. (I hope he doesn’t read this, he might not be able to take it). A very smart and talented egotistical toddler.
AMEN. Stopped reading that moaning b*** after the two 1st sentences just to coment, but you came first and said everything I had to say.

Poor guy, he should feel ashamed of himself. Excellent game by a scumbag of a person who either learn to behave and learn from his errors to not repeat them again or better fail in the industry.

RancidSkank said:Maybe developers should fully playtest games instead of firing them out of the fucking door with their eyes on the prize.

I notice Fish also fails to mention that the first patch is actually free with Microsoft, but because they failed to fix the save problem with their first patch, they would then get hit with the charge on the second one, and decided it would be more beneficial to them to release the same patch, still broken, to save themselves the money.

Exactly THIS ! I'm with microsoft here, not thinking they are a greedy bunch of jerks but knowing that is a smart move to reeducate the industry on how to release a game.

If you release half of a game and pretend charging full its price then toss the money when you release the rest (so called patches and DLC) of your unfinished undertested product.

angry I'm so pissed at the industry, or at how it became thru years...
MortyDice
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 14:13
This is NOT the exact cost of a patch. Tim only gave an idea of the cost for Brütal Legend, not the cost for everyone.
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Cyclobomber
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 14:21
This is not a smart move from MS to charge so much, this is just another attempt at milking someone, somewhere, seeing how even MS Studio games are unfinished and need bullshit patches (the whole Halo bunch, the Gears series, and so on), it's jyst MS saying "this is MY platform, pay the admission fee and see if I like your ugly mug enough to let you look at the goods through the peeping hole, thanks for nothing in advance, chump".
the industry never learns, they're caught up in a spiral of bullshit teasers, trailers and big keynotes released at circlejerk-conventions, not any game is properly finished, look at bloody Skyrim, the bigger the game, the more ouver-pimped it is, the less finished it comes out, and we (generally speaking) still gobble up that crap without a second thought, preordering the collector's edition which contains shiny trinkets proclaiming we blow hard-earned cash on mangled pieces of software re-sold through on-disc DLC, extra chapters that should have been here on the first place, and other stupid excuses to wring more wet cash outta our hands.

I didn't care a single iota about promotion for Fez, I simply didn't listen, I tried the demo and loved it, maybe it's overrated, but I'm having a good time with it, I loved DNF despite all the stored-up bile it received, and I wished they added more weapon slots and some stuff here and there, but 40 grand a patch is more than ridiculous, seeing how they probably make a lot of cash with the avatar market, their percentage on XBLA sales, seeing also how they ruined the XNA platform, it's pretty clear MS is just out there to wring us out of money (don't get me wrong I know that's what a company is there for: profit, but that doesn't mean you have to be such a brute about it).

It's basically saying "only the big blockbuster games will get proper updates because that's where the money's at, seeing the throngs of douchebags that thrive only on Call of Madden: Halo of War, the rest is small fry, and we won't care".

TL;DR: I'm more pissed at MS that at Polytron.
misfit119
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Posted on 20 July 12 at 14:26
litepink said:I’d love to remain neutral on this, but can’t help myself:

I think Phil Fish (of Polytron) could be forgiven for not spending $40,000 on a patch that affects 1% of the player base. Doesn’t seem to make financial sense to me, even if there are repercussions pertaining to the sales of Fez and future titles. What I find damning is his whining and finger pointing about it. He agreed to have his product sold on Xbox LIVE Arcade, so he knew what he was getting into. To turn around and try and point fingers at Microsoft looks childish to me. He made a spectacular game that has some flaws – apologize and move on.

So Steam is so much better he says? He once said PC’s are “just for spreadsheets” facepalm. He also said modern Japanese games “just suck”, but when people said negative things about his game prior to release he said that handling the internet backlash was hard and that he doesn’t have “thick skin”. This coming from a guy who proclaimed that gamers are the “worst kind of people”.

Seems he can dish it but can’t take it, and apparently likes to point fingers at others for his own wrongdoing. Therefore, Phil Fish is giant toddler in my eyes. (I hope he doesn’t read this, he might not be able to take it). A very smart and talented egotistical toddler.
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I think that honestly he'd have been better off putting the patch up and pretending like they can't replicate the issue and thus fix it rather than trying to blame Microsoft for being too expensive. This is the sort of thing that someone should look into before releasing their game on a platform. Honestly since this game came out I keep seeing this guys name up in the news and its basically just bitch, bitch, bitch.
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