Fez developer Polytron put out a statement yesterday stating that the Fez patch they recently put out and quickly had removed would be going back up -and that would be all. The patch, which fixes framerate issues, load times and various glitches but also has the potential to corrupt the save data of a small percentage of players, will be reposted to XBLA in it’s current state without fixing the corruption bug, because the alternative would apparently be to send the whole thing back through Microsoft cert at the cost of thousands of dollars.
The full statement is as follows:
We’re bringing the first FEZ patch online. It’s the same patch.
We’re not going to patch the patch.
Why not? Because microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game.
And because as it turns out, the save file delete bug only happens to less than a percent of players. 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. 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!
We believe the save file corruption issue mostly happened to players who had completed, or almost completed the game. If you hadn’t already seen most of what FEZ had to offer, your save file is probably safe. It doesn’t happen if you start a new game.
We believe the current patch is safe for an overwhelming majority of players.
The patch fixes almost everything that’s been wrong with the game since launch. The framerate issues, the loading, the skips, the death loops, everything! All that stuff is fixed! And right now, nobody can get to it since the patch was pulled. For 99% of people, it makes FEZ a better game.
To the less-than-1% 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. And this breaks our hearts. We hope you dont think back on your time spent in FEZ as a total waste.Microsoft gave us a choice: either pay a ton of money to re-certify the game and issue a new patch (which for all we know could introduce new issues, for which we’d need yet another costly patch), or simply put the patch back online. They looked into it, and the issue happens so rarely that they still consider the patch to be “good enough”.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but in the end, paying such a large sum of money to jump through so many hoops just doesn’t make any sense. We already owe microsoft a LOT of money for the privilege of being on their platform. People often mistakenly believe that we got paid by Microsoft for being exclusive to their platform. Nothing could be further from the truth. WE pay THEM.
So we’re going to go ahead and put Title Update back online, and for a vast majority of people it’s going to make FEZ a better game.
Thank you for your understanding and continuing support.
The Polytron Team
While breaking your game and leaving it broken IS something of a dick move, I can’t help but feel like Microsoft deserves more of the heat on this one. Why exactly does it cost tens of thousands of dollars to put out a patch? A patch that in this case probably amounts to changing a couple lines of code? If Microsoft is really interested in embracing the indie dev community like they claim to be, why on Earth do they expect developers that in most cases consist of one or two dudes working out of a basement to fork over that kind of money for simple bug fixing?!
I wonder if this whole mess might make Mr. Fish take another look at Fez on Steam as a means of distribution. As the team says in their statement, if Fez had been released for Steam, patches could have been faster, more frequent, and free of charge.