Report: Microsoft No Longer Charging Developers for Patching Their Xbox 360 Games

June 27, 2013 -

Microsoft is no longer charging developers and publishers a fee for updates according to multiple sources speaking to Eurogamer. Apparently, Microsoft made the change to its policy on updates earlier in the year. Prior to that change any updates after the one free update publishers were entitled to cost developers "tens of thousands of dollars."

Microsoft has always charged a fee when developers first submit their games to Microsoft's certification process so they can be approved for release, and the company normally grants developers one title update free of charge. Sources have told Eurogamer that subsequent re-certification as a result of a title update is now free. This applies to Xbox Live Arcade games and full retail games. There are a number of limitations to this entire process still. For example, if a developer is making an "excessive number" of re-submissions due to a given update failing the certification process, Microsoft reserves the right to issue a charge.

A number of developers have complained about Microsoft's patching costs including Double Fine boss Tim Schafer who mentioned the $40,000 cost to patch Xbox 360 games. Fez developer Polytron also decided to re-issue a patch that corrupted a small minority of player's save files because fixing it would require the very costly process of getting the game re-certified.

Source: Eurogamer



Re: Report: Microsoft No Longer Charging Developers for ...

This is a good first step in winning back indie developers. But it is not nearly enough. Microsoft really needs to get rid of the publisher requirement.

This does not mean that the flood gates will open and that the XBLA store will be crowded with crap. Microsoft can still cultivate and screen games and developers to make sure they are of sufficient quality. What it does mean is that more quality games can be released on its platform.

If Microsoft truly wants to move to a fully digital console, as the release of the XBone would lead you to believe, then it needs to embrace indie developers. 

Re: Report: Microsoft No Longer Charging Developers for ...

I thought they *did* say they were getting rid of the publisher requirement?

Re: Report: Microsoft No Longer Charging Developers for ...

Nope. You still need to get a publisher in order to release on XBLA. There is currently no way around that.

Re: Report: Microsoft No Longer Charging Developers for ...

Remember when this was necessary and a good idea in order to encourage developers to release more complete games by discouraging patching and wasn't a cynical cash grab by Microsoft taking advantage of studios who can't afford it?

Yeah, me neither.

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