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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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12. Re: Op Ed Jul 21, 2012, 18:50 Jerykk
 
Would have made a lot more sense to just release Fez on PC first. If it did well, it would have been that much easier to get it on XBLA and/or PSN. Also, Fish could have found and fixed the vast majority of bugs before starting the ports.

Releasing on XBLA first required that he find a publisher, which MS ended up being. 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.

On a side note, it's not surprising that MS let the patch go through even with the bug. Happens all the time. If a bug is rare enough, MS will allow it to be waived, even if it's a critical one. If they didn't allow any bugs to be waived, games would never pass certification.

This comment was edited on Jul 21, 2012, 18:56.
 
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