Microsoft Drops Fees For Patching Xbox 360 Titles

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Microsoft Drops Fees For Patching Xbox 360 Titles

Xbox 360 and controller

Updating Xbox 360 games will no longer require developers to offer a cash sacrifice to Microsoft.

For years now, if you were a videogame developer working on an Xbox 360 title, you hoped against hope that your code wouldn't produce any unexpected bugs. Not because this would upset fans (though that's always a concern), but because patching the issue would require you to pay Microsoft a surprisingly large fee. How large? It varies by project, but standard figures are said to be in the tens of thousands of dollars - not the kind of scratch a small, independent developer might have lying around.

Fortunately for those less-than-wealthy developers, Microsoft has removed the monetary requirement for patching Xbox 360 and Xbox Live titles. According to Eurogamer, the firm "made the policy change on the quiet earlier this year," and as of the time of this article's publication, submitting patches to Microsoft does not require a complementary sack of cash. Microsoft does reserve the right to charge any developers that it deems to be abusing the system with an overlarge number of updates, but that caveat seems like a legitimate safeguard against abuse than any real effort on Microsoft's part to generate an additional revenue stream for the wealthy-as-god computing giant.

What does this mean for you, the consumer? Obviously it should be expected that games will now be patched more readily, and developers will be able to respond to bugs in their code with far more reliability and speed than they could previously. That said, this will also likely increase the number of patches being released for Xbox 360 titles as a whole. There's always a concern that as games become easier to patch after release that developers will put less effort into polishing their software prior to launch, but we have yet to see evidence of that trend emerging among Xbox game makers. Hopefully in the end, this decision will simply lead to better games for all Xbox devotees, or at the very least, titles that are less prone to freezing, crashes and all the other wonderful flaws we're grown to tolerate in modern videogames.

Source: Eurogamer

Permalink

So this had nothing to do with a flood of indie developers running over to Sony. They made this decision at the beginning of the year but said, "hey you know what makes a lot of sense? Telling everyone that we are dropping the pay for patch policy, but the better idea would be to wait until everyone hates us and has already left."

Earnest Cavalli:
According to Eurogamer, the firm "made the policy change on the quiet earlier this year," and as of the time of this article's publication, submitting patches to Microsoft does not require a complementary sack of cash.

They really dont know anything about PR, do they?

Zer0Saber:
So this had nothing to do with a flood of indie developers running over to Sony. They made this decision at the beginning of the year but said, "hey you know what makes a lot of sense? Telling everyone that we are dropping the pay for patch policy, but the better idea would be to wait until everyone hates us and has already left."

Just like how Sony decided on DRM, game sharing and price way before the Xbox One reveal :P

I think the ship has already set sail Microsoft.

Not to mention great job introducing this at the end of the consoles lifespan. When there is obviously a flood of new indei and third party games coming out before the release of the Xbox one like... uhhhh... uhh... Saints Row 4? Also note that it only mentions this going for the 360. I don't know if its been confirmed or denied but it's probably still going to be a thing on the Xbone.

Ooo, can we have Valve update TF2 and The Orange Box? That'd be incredible.

Earnest Cavalli:
What does this mean for you, the consumer? Obviously it should be expected that games will now be patched more readily, and developers will be able to respond to bugs in their code with far more reliability and speed than they could previously.

I am not so sure about this, because Skyrim is the first the title that comes to mind needing patches and having it delayed on consoles, and I doubt it was because of the patch fee. I think the biggest delay for patches on consoles most of the time is the bureaucracy and authorization process, but might be wrong.

Dropping patching fees for the 360 a few months before it's replaced? Wow, how generous of them. What a fucking dreadful business practice to carry on for so long.

I'm sort of glad they didn't make a big PR fanfare about it, it would be like asking for thanks because you stopped punching someone in the face.

Mumorpuger:
Ooo, can we have Valve update TF2 and The Orange Box? That'd be incredible.

I was thinking of the exact same thing. I doubt I'd want Valve to do that anymore, though. It would just waste time better spent fine tuning the already burgeoning PC tf2 community.

DVS BSTrD:

Zer0Saber:
So this had nothing to do with a flood of indie developers running over to Sony. They made this decision at the beginning of the year but said, "hey you know what makes a lot of sense? Telling everyone that we are dropping the pay for patch policy, but the better idea would be to wait until everyone hates us and has already left."

Just like how Sony decided on DRM, game sharing and price way before the Xbox One reveal :P

I think Sony admitted that they didn't come to a clear decision until the Xbox fallout and that PS3 price plan was $499 plus the camera, but then dropped the Camera and a hundred bucks just to beat Microsoft. I'm just saying that I think the whole saying -It was decided months ago- is kinda bull.
Also sorry this is completely unrelated to the topic, but what the hell, I had a giant Miller ad popup and cover the whole thing I was writing and I couldn't get rid of it. I had to refresh and start again.

...Oh wait, this is only for 360? Wow, generuos indeed. So all the indies with Xbox one still getting screwed over?

Fez update incoming?

Tanakh:

Earnest Cavalli:
What does this mean for you, the consumer? Obviously it should be expected that games will now be patched more readily, and developers will be able to respond to bugs in their code with far more reliability and speed than they could previously.

I am not so sure about this, because Skyrim is the first the title that comes to mind needing patches and having it delayed on consoles, and I doubt it was because of the patch fee. I think the biggest delay for patches on consoles most of the time is the bureaucracy and authorization process, but might be wrong.

That's true for AAA developers. While still not liking to spend extra $, they are capable of it. Their big issue is Q-A testing and release bureaucracy.

Smaller indie devs can afford more agile development models where QA and dev are more or less the same thing. The core limitation is money. It's hard to pay to patch a game when you can't afford to live off ramen noodles.

Everything I've learned about Microsoft in the last few weeks makes me sad I ever defended them and the Xbox.

Necrofudge:

Mumorpuger:
Ooo, can we have Valve update TF2 and The Orange Box? That'd be incredible.

I was thinking of the exact same thing. I doubt I'd want Valve to do that anymore, though. It would just waste time better spent fine tuning the already burgeoning PC tf2 community.

I want in on this hat shenanigans I've been hearing so much about...

'bout time. It was already bullshit that they did it to begin with, but became even more so once I learned that they charged to FIX games, not just add content.

Mumorpuger:
Ooo, can we have Valve update TF2 and The Orange Box? That'd be incredible.

lol thought of the same thing, although i think that update would brick the xbox, that fat bastard sized download is something i think the 360 would die on.

Never made sense to me in the first place, why charge the developers for making their games and gameplay better and more enjoyable for their customers? Just more of Microsoft's usual self destructive practices. All about getting a quick buck now at the cost of future profits.

I would love to re-use and slightly change an old phrase to fit this news...

"Microsoft could find the cure to Cancer, Diabetes, and AID's, and people would still hate on them"

Seriously, can we fucking give them some damn credit? They are cutting what is most likely a VERY profitable policy (because of AAA games), and flushing it down to help out the indies.

X1 gets the DRM dropped? PARANOIA, THEY ARE GOING TO PUT IT BACK IN.

Patching fee dropped? BAD PR, MS HATES INDIES, MS NEVER DOES GOOD.

Sorry, little bit of frustration from people who cant actually calm down for to read 1 good bit of news.

SharedProphet:
Fez update incoming?

given if fish doesn't act like a complete tosser about it.then agian,its fish. Also considering this policy applied to xbox live would this mean that its been dropped for the x1 as well?

TiberiusEsuriens:
-snip-

I thought that was implicit. The statement I quoted was about the "consumer" which on average spends/plays/cares more about AAA titles, which is why I don't agree with what was said in general.

thethird0611:
I would love to re-use and slightly change an old phrase to fit this news...

"Microsoft could find the cure to Cancer, Diabetes, and AID's, and people would still hate on them"

Seriously, can we fucking give them some damn credit? They are cutting what is most likely a VERY profitable policy (because of AAA games), and flushing it down to help out the indies.

X1 gets the DRM dropped? PARANOIA, THEY ARE GOING TO PUT IT BACK IN.

Patching fee dropped? BAD PR, MS HATES INDIES, MS NEVER DOES GOOD.

Sorry, little bit of frustration from people who cant actually calm down for to read 1 good bit of news.

At the same time though, they are only doing this near the end of the generation when games made for 360 are winding down and less money can be made.
Also, I'm uncertain if this will carry over to the Indies on Xbone.

While I'll give you the DRM thing, MS still loaded a gun, pointed it at consumers and threatened to fire it.[1]
While they didn't fire, which is nice, the fact is that they were going to is a red flag and makes it a tad bit harder to trust anything that they do.

[1] Heavy Handed Analogy, I know

Diablo1099:

thethird0611:
I would love to re-use and slightly change an old phrase to fit this news...

"Microsoft could find the cure to Cancer, Diabetes, and AID's, and people would still hate on them"

Seriously, can we fucking give them some damn credit? They are cutting what is most likely a VERY profitable policy (because of AAA games), and flushing it down to help out the indies.

X1 gets the DRM dropped? PARANOIA, THEY ARE GOING TO PUT IT BACK IN.

Patching fee dropped? BAD PR, MS HATES INDIES, MS NEVER DOES GOOD.

Sorry, little bit of frustration from people who cant actually calm down for to read 1 good bit of news.

At the same time though, they are only doing this near the end of the generation when games made for 360 are winding down and less money can be made.
Also, I'm uncertain if this will carry over to the Indies on Xbone.

While I'll give you the DRM thing, MS still loaded a gun, pointed it at consumers and threatened to fire it.[1]
While they didn't fire, which is nice, the fact is that they were going to is a red flag and makes it a tad bit harder to trust anything that they do.

See, I can agree with you on both points, they are actual level headed criticisms, that's just unlike most MS criticisms on the Escapist. People on this site just get way to into group think and need to calm down and use some level headed thinking.

But yeah, I'm hoping that it carries over to the X1, especially with Sony doing its best to court developers. The more platforms a small title can get onto, the bigger profits it can make.

Now your second point, I once again agree with you, and I am still currently watching Microsoft's actions, but there are people who are just saying "Oh, they are going to re-implement it a year in" with no evidence, just because they have this horrid bias and hate.

So yeah, I just get frustrated with a lot of what I read, just because people cant actually be non-bias and constantly get up into the trend of hating.

[1] Heavy Handed Analogy, I know

thethird0611:
See, I can agree with you on both points, they are actual level headed criticisms, that's just unlike most MS criticisms on the Escapist. People on this site just get way to into group think and need to calm down and use some level headed thinking.

But yeah, I'm hoping that it carries over to the X1, especially with Sony doing its best to court developers. The more platforms a small title can get onto, the bigger profits it can make.

I Agree with you there, but this *IS* the Internet.
Might as well blame the sky for being blue :P
/jk

Now your second point, I once again agree with you, and I am still currently watching Microsoft's actions, but there are people who are just saying "Oh, they are going to re-implement it a year in" with no evidence, just because they have this horrid bias and hate.

So yeah, I just get frustrated with a lot of what I read, just because people cant actually be non-bias and constantly get up into the trend of hating.

That Right there? That Bias, That Hate? That's the damage that Microsoft has done to its own Brand, just like EA during Sim City.
They've pissed off so many people that Sorry ain't cutting it.
You might get sick of it, but keep in mind that they, for the most part, brought it on themselves.

Leaper:
...Oh wait, this is only for 360? Wow, generuos indeed. So all the indies with Xbox one still getting screwed over?

Yeah I'm a little curious about this too. Why specify 360 why not say it's part of a global platform. I'm not saying they will with the Xbox one but they should clarify this a bit more.

Diablo1099:

thethird0611:
See, I can agree with you on both points, they are actual level headed criticisms, that's just unlike most MS criticisms on the Escapist. People on this site just get way to into group think and need to calm down and use some level headed thinking.

But yeah, I'm hoping that it carries over to the X1, especially with Sony doing its best to court developers. The more platforms a small title can get onto, the bigger profits it can make.

I Agree with you there, but this *IS* the Internet.
Might as well blame the sky for being blue :P
/jk

Now your second point, I once again agree with you, and I am still currently watching Microsoft's actions, but there are people who are just saying "Oh, they are going to re-implement it a year in" with no evidence, just because they have this horrid bias and hate.

So yeah, I just get frustrated with a lot of what I read, just because people cant actually be non-bias and constantly get up into the trend of hating.

That Right there? That Bias, That Hate? That's the damage that Microsoft has done to its own Brand, just like EA during Sim City.
They've pissed off so many people that Sorry ain't cutting it.
You might get sick of it, but keep in mind that they, for the most part, brought it on themselves.

He, ze good ol Internet.

Now that is very true, but I think there is a difference between someone saying...

"Sorry Microsoft, your shot yourself in the foot on this one, your going to have to regain my trust"

Than someone saying...

"No one should buy an X1, it has NOTHING good, they are going to re implement the DRM, they are going to spy on your with the Kinect, the games suck, your a fanboy/dudebro if you buy one, and Microsoft will never ever make anything else good"

At least I see a difference. Meh.

Mumorpuger:

Necrofudge:

Mumorpuger:
Ooo, can we have Valve update TF2 and The Orange Box? That'd be incredible.

I was thinking of the exact same thing. I doubt I'd want Valve to do that anymore, though. It would just waste time better spent fine tuning the already burgeoning PC tf2 community.

I want in on this hat shenanigans I've been hearing so much about...

...The hat simulator is a dangerous thing to dabble in. One moment, you're just happy to have a bowler hat on your scout. The next moment, you have a backpack worth $40,000 and you don't even know where the time went.

thethird0611:
He, ze good ol Internet.

Now that is very true, but I think there is a difference between someone saying...

"Sorry Microsoft, your shot yourself in the foot on this one, your going to have to regain my trust"

Than someone saying...

"No one should buy an X1, it has NOTHING good, they are going to re implement the DRM, they are going to spy on your with the Kinect, the games suck, your a fanboy/dudebro if you buy one, and Microsoft will never ever make anything else good"

At least I see a difference. Meh.

There is a difference alright, but in the end it has the same effect and just shows that MS pissed off a LOT of people.
Some are just more level headed than others. :P

Sorry Microsoft, throwing people some old tablescraps will not be enough to once again earn you the goodwill lost over many years of being dicks.

Keep trying though. You might get there someday.

Well this is very nice news. Maybe they want the 360 to be able to compete with the Ouya or something? Indie games for the most part don't need monster hardware to run anyway.

Maybe I'll keep an eye on XBLA for a while.

thethird0611:
I would love to re-use and slightly change an old phrase to fit this news...

"Microsoft could find the cure to Cancer, Diabetes, and AID's, and people would still hate on them"

Seriously, can we fucking give them some damn credit? They are cutting what is most likely a VERY profitable policy (because of AAA games), and flushing it down to help out the indies.

X1 gets the DRM dropped? PARANOIA, THEY ARE GOING TO PUT IT BACK IN.

Patching fee dropped? BAD PR, MS HATES INDIES, MS NEVER DOES GOOD.

Sorry, little bit of frustration from people who cant actually calm down for to read 1 good bit of news.

when a child runs up claiming to have a 'amazing surprise' which turns out to be a dog turd, most people will be a little wary of any other 'surprises' even when the child swears black and blue that it's different this time.

That said this is good news, but it still falls short with indies still requiring a publisher.

Well it looks like the arrogant Aristocrats of Microsoft finally got woken up out of their self love besotted stupidity long enough to realize that while those they lord over financially may be peasants in their eyes, those pitchforks and other farm implements the rabble are carrying look to be bloody sharp. Here's hoping Eddard Stark's head will have a bit of company soon.

josemlopes:

Earnest Cavalli:
According to Eurogamer, the firm "made the policy change on the quiet earlier this year," and as of the time of this article's publication, submitting patches to Microsoft does not require a complementary sack of cash.

They really dont know anything about PR, do they?

MS press release " Well after 7 years of arse raping we have got bored of it and we have decided to stop , were not apologising or refunding the money , we just decided to stop , throw us a party and proclaim us company of the year pls!"

maybe they are learning about pr ;)

Now cut out adverts on Xbox live.

I for one had no problem with the fee, it got developers to get it right the first time rather then selling a broken game and patching it later. As for indie titles not having the money to pay the fee, well the fee should scale on how successful the developer and the game are but they should not be given special treatment because they have less money, there is no excuse for shipping a broken game.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here