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Op Ed

GamesIndustry International - Fez, Fish and The Problem with Patching.
Fez has grossed over a million dollars, and even after Microsoft has taken a lump of that, it would be outright negligent and irresponsible of Fish not to have money left over to cover an unforeseen problem like a reissued patch. Catch-22. If you're able to complain about it, you're also able to pay for it, and your users are quite entitled to excoriate you for using them as hostages in a debate with Microsoft which is of no real relevance to them.

"I don't care how indie you are, or how free and loose your ideas of commerce and creativity may be - once you've taken a million bucks from consumers, professionalism isn't optional" Equally, though, one can have sympathy with Microsoft. The company gives one patch for free, and charges for subsequent patches - not because it's greedy and avaricious (it does lots of other things for those reasons, of course), but because it doesn't want to see XBLA games being released buggy or incomplete and patched repeatedly. The Xbox is a console, and players expect not to be confronted with the kind of endless match of bugs and patches which so often afflict PC games. Microsoft has a duty to its consumers to try to enforce that, and ultimately, Fish bears responsibility for creating a patch with such a serious bug in it.

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17. Re: Op Ed Jul 21, 2012, 20:16 Jerykk
Beamer wrote on Jul 21, 2012, 19:25:
Jerykk wrote on Jul 21, 2012, 18:50:
So in addition to the usual 30% cut that MS takes from all XBLA games, they'd take an additional cut for being the publisher, which means that Fish likely only gets 30% profit from each sale. Then you have to consider the costs of development, what with dev kits costing $10,000.

Pretty sure the first part isn't entirely true, and I'm also pretty sure XBLA games don't require dev kits. Could be wrong about both, but I think Fez can be developed the same way an XB Indie game is and no dev kit is needed.

Still sounds dumb that Microsoft charges the same for an XBLA certification as a full AAA certification. Not even getting into whether there's a good reason for certification and for costs, just charging the same seems like a bad idea.

I'm pretty sure you need a dev kit to make any console game. Proprietary hardware and OS and all that. If you didn't have a dev kit, how else would you test for TCR violations?

EDIT: Actually, I take that back. Apparently the XBL Indie games don't even go through certification because they don't support standard XBL features like Achievements, leaderboards, etc. Instead, the games go through a peer review from other XBL Indie developers. In any case, XBLA games go through the regular MS certification process, so the developers need dev kits to be able to test their games and address any TCR violations. This is probably why MS doesn't give a crap about XBL Indie games and doesn't bother marketing them or even letting people know that they exist.

This comment was edited on Jul 21, 2012, 20:23.
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