Fez Developer Won’t Fix Buggy Update Because it ‘Costs Too Much’

One thing customers do not want to hear is something along the lines of "we can't do the right thing because it costs too much money." That is exactly what Fez developer Polytron has said about a broken patch that it plans to re-deploy for the game on Xbox Live. Polytron quickly yanked a patch it released earlier in the month because it corrupted some players' save game files. Now Polytron boss Phil Fish is saying that the company will roll the patch out without any fixes because it would cost too much money to re-certify the game and because it only affects a small percentage or players. Fez has sold over 100,000 copies on Xbox Live Arcade to date.

"Microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game," wrote Polytron's Phil Fish on the company blog. "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."

Fish goes on to say that Microsoft gave them a choice and he made a decision to take this particular path:

"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,'" Fish claims.

Fish adds that it wasn't an easy decision to make and that he didn't want to owe Microsoft any more money than he already does at this point.

"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," Fish continued. "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."

Source: GII

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  1. 0
    Requiem Of Forgotten Lore says:

    The 360 was my first of all the consoles of this generation by long shot and I would play it all the time.  However, ever since they rolled out the latest dashboard, I found myself playing my XBox less and less.  In fact, it hasn't even been turned on in over 2 months – and that was only to play Fez when it first came out.

    I now look for games for my PS3 or PC since I do not want to be bombarded by advertisements (that have nothing to do with gaming) every time I want to play a game – and that doesn't even go into the fact that the advertisement box is bigger than the box for my game.  You can only surmise that when my gold membership finally expires that I'll not be resubscribing.

    What's sad is that I love‚Äč XBox's technical support, but I loathe the dashboard.

  2. 0
    DanHoyt says:

    I’m getting real tired of Microsoft going for the cheap and easy money rather than promoting their XBLA games. I just read the other day about Microsoft filling their Dashboard/home screens with ads rather than promoting actual games and these kinds of practices are going to chase away all the developers and games.


  3. 0
    Prof_Sarcastic says:

    I believe that "what is right" in this case is to continue producing games rather than go bankrupt and have your customers never see another game from a developer they like.

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Having had to go through such a decision making process before, I can understand just how much it sucks to come to such a conclusion.

    Sooner or later you have to run the numbers,.. cost to patch, number of people effected, risk that patch will cause more issues… non-trivial things when money isn't 'no object', esp for small studios that do not have significant warchest.

    I respect their candor and openness about how they came to their decision.

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