Polytron, Microsoft, and Why There Won’t be More FEZ Patches

The story behind FEZ’s patch is a strange one. First it gets put on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, then it gets taken down because it caused people to lose their save file. Can’t have that, so back the patch went to Polytron for more testing and re-working. Then, nothing. No word on the patch or whether it was even coming back out.

That changed today when Polytron did a post on their blog saying the the FEZ patch is back online, but it’s the same one that caused people to lose their save in the first place, no changes, no nothing. So if the patch deletes saves, what the heck happened?

Turns out that Microsoft was too big of a hurdle to get a new patch going, so the fellas at Polytron just decided to give up the ghost. Micrsoft wanted Polytron to pay upwards of ten thousand dollars to re-certify the patch, and for a small indie company that just wasn’t going to happen.

According to the blog post, Polytron’s relationship with Microsoft is a one-way street with the money traveling in the wrong direction. Polytron apparently had to pay Microsoft to get FEZ out on XBLA, so they’re dropping their support for the title. Had the game been released on Steam, they said, patches would flow like a mighty river, but no such luck there.

Polytron is confident that for 99% of the FEZ players out there, this will make their experience better. For the 1%, well, they’re truly sorry and they wish things were different. What do you guys think? Does Microsoft really have Polytron over a barrel? Is it ridiculous for Polytron to pay Microsoft for publishing and re-certification? Why don’t they just release FEZ on Steam already? Go!

Source – Polytron

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mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

5 thoughts on “Polytron, Microsoft, and Why There Won’t be More FEZ Patches”

  1. Was anybody really surprised by this, though? Microsoft’s pretty well-known for playing the malevolent middleman on the Xbox Live/GFWL marketplace. Not that the FEZ developers are stupid, but we’re getting to a point (see Super Meat Boy, Alan Wake, etc.) where companies like Microsoft and companies like Valve are quite noticeably speeding in opposite directions with their approach to content delivery. It’s a shame that the devs and the customers have to suffer. I really hope FEZ comes to Steam, but I’d like it even more if Microsoft would just get their head out of their ass, or they’re going to scare away developers.

  2. When I read the “We’re not going to patch the patch” article, I just imagined changing a few words so that a “we are the 99%” kind of thing came out of it. Screwing the 1% doesn’t sound so bad in this day and age (lol).

    Also smirked at the line “Had FEZ been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us.”

    It’s a shame players are getting the short end of a stick, even if it’s only ~1%. This was kind of my fear of “rough around the edges” indie games being released for console. Instead of leaving it up to the PC geek to scour the internet for forums and legacy patches and manually install (outside of Steam mostly), Microsoft has to force update a fix for everyone, which costs money. 10 grand though? That sucks.

    I read the blog posts in Phil Fish’s stressed voice from Indie Game: The Movie and it just makes me cringe.

  3. [quote comment=”19690″]When I read the “We’re not going to patch the patch” article, I just imagined changing a few words so that a “we are the 99%” kind of thing came out of it. Screwing the 1% doesn’t sound so bad in this day and age (lol).

    Also smirked at the line “Had FEZ been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us.”

    It’s a shame players are getting the short end of a stick, even if it’s only ~1%. This was kind of my fear of “rough around the edges” indie games being released for console. Instead of leaving it up to the PC geek to scour the internet for forums and legacy patches and manually install (outside of Steam mostly), Microsoft has to force update a fix for everyone, which costs money. 10 grand though? That sucks.

    I read the blog posts in Phil Fish’s stressed voice from Indie Game: The Movie and it just makes me cringe.[/quote]
    Haha same here Julez! I was like “poor Phil can’t catch a break”. More on topic both Sony and Microsoft have had stories about how hard it is to update on their systems, which has to be extremely annoying for devs (more so than the players probably).

  4. I feel Microsoft is catching to bit to much flack with this topic. Every company knows (or should know) that when putting a game on xbox you get 1 free patch/update then you have to pay, It’s that way for every company (barring a few exceptions). Polytron should have caught this in QA and Microsoft should have caught it in certification but that’s how making games is some times. Once again it’s the consumer that’s the guy getting the short end of the stick, a bit of a shame.

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