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Microsoft reportedly no longer charges for patches

7:00 AM on 06.27.2013

Chris Carter

Reviews Director

Okay, how about indie self-publishing now?

Eurogamer is reporting that Microsoft has ended its unfortunate policy of charging developers hand over fist to patch Xbox 360 games. Instead of granting just one free update, developers allegedly can now submit subsequent updates for free -- apparently the new policy applies to both digital and retail games. Evidently Microsoft can charge at will if the developer gets way out of hand with patches, but for now it seems as if minor occasional fixes can be addressed like any other platform.

This is a major win for smaller developers like Phil Fish, who contended that he couldn't afford to update a game-breaking Fez glitch due to the exorbitant fees. I've already reached out to Fish to see if he's interested in fixing the game in light of this new policy. With the recent removal of DRM and support for used games, it seems as if Microsoft is admitting that they're not the mighty monolith they once were, and are attempting to stay competitive with Sony, Steam and Nintendo, all of whom offer some form of free patches.

There's more work to do, but like their Games on Gold program, it's a great first step.

Microsoft no longer charges developers to patch [Eurogamer]

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