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XBLA re-certification price too costly for Fez team

The costly price of re-certifying Xbox Live Arcade games and releasing a new patch for a game on the digital service is holding Fez developer Polytron back from fixing a game-breaking bug.
The costly price of re-certifying Xbox Live Arcade games and releasing a new patch for a game on the digital service is holding Fez developer Polytron back from fixing a game-breaking bug. Platform puzzler Fez was released on Xbox 360 back in April to glowing reviews, although the game contained a number of save-file corruption issues and game crashing bugs. An update was released last month to fix these issues, but was quickly taken down again when it came to light that the patch was leading to corrupted saves for some users. Polytron's Phil Fish has now explained on the studio's blog that a new patch will not be supplied anymore as it is simply too expensive to release new patches for Xbox 360. Instead, the original patch has been put back online. "We're not going to patch the patch," he explained, "because Microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game." He reasoned that the save-corruption bug is only happening to a very small percent of players, and that paying Microsoft for the patch would make no sense for Polytron. "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," he said, "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!" He continued, "We believe the current patch is safe for an overwhelming majority of players... To the less-than-1 percent 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." He noted that Microsoft considers the original patch to be "good enough" for release, hence why the publisher allowed the patch to go back out. "People often mistakenly believe that we got paid by Microsoft for being exclusive to their platform," he finished. "Nothing could be further from the truth. We pay them."

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