There’s no denying that Microsoft has come under fire from consumers in recent months, with the Xbox One’s controversial features being entirely to blame. Still, the house of Bill Gates has made significant modifications to its policies as of late — including abandoning its controversial used-game policies and making it unnecessary to be connected to the Internet once every 24 hours — and now the company has begun correcting one of the biggest issues developers had with its Xbox 360.
Microsoft has stealthily done away with fees for developers issuing updates to their games. This bit of news is something that indie developers have struggled with for quite some time, as it sounds like these “fees” were overly expensive. Double Fine’s Tim Schaffer stated that it would have cost his team somewhere around $40,000 just to issue one patch, so it’s immediately obvious why smaller developers simply couldn’t afford to issue updates.
One such instance of a smaller dev being unable to afford necessary title updates to its games includes Polytron’s Fez, which suffered from a bug which would corrupt save data. Polytron founder, Phil Fish, said his studio wouldn’t be fixing this glitch as a result of exuberant costs; which lead to Microsoft pulling the update. This lead to an official statement from the developer that stated that Microsoft would have charged “tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game.”
What’s surprising about this revelation is that Microsoft wasn’t more public about its new policy — especially considering how well publicized and controversial it was. Hopefully this new philosophy will continue onto the Xbox One and isn’t just something to keep developers supplying the 360 with content in the shadow of its predecessor. Regardless, it’s a long overdue step in the right direction for a company that’s currently under fire for its less-than-ideal policies and restrictions.
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