Microsoft Won’t Take Blame For Lack Of Fez Fix

Microsoft Won’t Take Blame For Lack Of Fez Fix

Microsoft has denied all blame for a game-breaking glitch that the developers of puzzle game Fez said they couldn’t afford to fix.

Earlier this week, the folks behind Fez said they wouldn’t fix a rare game-breaking bug because Microsoft asked for too much money to re-certify the game. So they left in the bug.

In response to Kotaku‘s request for comment, Microsoft sent over this statement:

“Polytron and their investor, Trapdoor, made the decision not to work on an additional title update for FEZ. Microsoft Studios chose to support this decision based on the belief that Polytron/Trapdoor were in the best position to determine what the acceptable quality level is for their game. While we do not disclose the cost of Title Updates, we did offer to work with Trapdoor to make sure that wasn’t a blocking issue. We remain huge fans of Fez.”


  • This is a royal mess. I can see and understand both sides, but the final result is that I won’t be getting this game.

    Microsoft can’t make exceptions, that’s how they make back the money they pump into the platform.

    Polytron on the other hand probably can’t afford it, coming after the effort of pushing one patch already.

    Tim Shaffer’s statements have been quoted in these articles. I should point out that Double Fine never published the patch for the PS3 version of Brutal Legend, which they had created and fixed similarly catastrophic game breaking bug.

    • You won’t be getting this game because of a super-rare bug that affects an estimated <1% of games, and only when they're nearing total completion (it's a very hard game to complete)? That seems foolish.

    • It’s only affecting (as far as I am aware) people who have gotten to 100% in their existing game so if you haven’t downloaded it yet you have nothing to worry about. There’s also nothing stopping existing users from copying their save files to the MU or USB or even Cloud in case anything goes haywire.

      Two years ago I had a save file on Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolt corrupt on me and it was disastrous (I lost a LOT of progress which I still haven’t clawed back) but shit these things can happen.

  • Of course they’re not taking blame. They’ve already taken your money, so now they don’t care.

    • I 100% agree.

      It amazes me that they did not know of the $40,000 they would have to submit to patch the game before they decided to release it on XBLA.

      Surely they would have asked Microsoft during the development of the game “What if we fuck up and need to patch the game, is there any cost involved in that?” i mean you would be stupid to go into a business deal without knowing all the parameters, right or are they that full of them selves that they thought there game would be flawless.

      Either way Fish is an idiot, i remember he said the game will never come to pc because its meant to played on a couch with a controller, then just a few days ago he tweeted that the exclusivity of Fez XBLA will be over in a few months, this is after praising the pc because they don’t charge you to patch your game.

      I am pretty sure we will be seeing a steam release before the years end.

      • I’m assuming many indie developers didn’t know this. Once they found out most went to Steam which doesn’t charge you a cent to patch or do anything. You just split some of the profit

        Honestly I hope to see a mass exodus of developers from console to PC, because quite frankly the way its going the profits to be made from partnering up with Steam is much larger, simply because you don’t have to go through all the crap you do with Microsoft and Sony

        • Yeah but if your making a games for a platform such as XBLA would you not have a list of questions you would be asking before you even start so you would know all the costs involved in the process or do you just make the game and then find out all the expenses and relies you cannot afford to patch it.

          I know for myself i would be asking questions up front and if i did not get the answers i wanted i would not be doing business with them.

      • Could also be that they knew but after enough testing they figured their was nothing major

        That 40000 dollar cost is only an issue of you actually have to do a title update in the first place

        • From memory (I read this from Uber Ent who were the MNC developers) you get one free title update and that’s it – anything subsequent carries a cost, so they probably only budgeted for the one update. Also aside from the certification cost you’ve also got the whatever it costs a developer to put resources to something like that.

    • The bug only affects people who have already got the game and played a fair bit of it, so if it’s a case of anyone cutting and running with people’s money, it’s Phil Fish.

      MS has high fees on certification etc to discourage people from pushing out buggy patches / releases and encourage them to actually test their stuff properly.

  • I wasn’t that close to complete and I lost my game, the damage has been done though and I had to restart, pretty soured on the experience and at the moment and don’t really want to play through it all again

  • Am I the only one who seems to find it insulting that Microsoft actually charge developers to patch their games? If I had a title I was selling I wouldn’t pay them $40k just to update the f-ing thing.

    • Not only that, if what you submit to them fails their checks, you have to pay another $40k to submit it again after fixing them.

  • Ok, I know a lot of people want to blame Microsoft for this , but you can’t. I’m sorry, but Sony AND Microsoft both do these practices. They try to hide under the idea that if they charge then you will make “sure” you do a good job. Which clearly isn’t the case some to most of the time. Fans want fixes a lot quicker. I’ll point you towards Street Fighter x Tekken where Rolento could freeze the game if his knife made contact with another projectile. Forcing you to TURN off your console which could damage it.

    So, let me explain to all of you why this is Phil Fish and his studio fault and not Microsoft. Case in point is Microsoft has one the largest console community that actively has Ads (yea, those ads on XBL are bullshit especially when you pay for a service.) that promote games and other products. Microsoft wants to make money. The best way to do that is not to hire developers , but to have them come to Microsoft. Because they have a huge fan base and can openly market to their consumers easier than other companies. I.E. Nintendo, Steam, and Sony. (At least in their eyes anyhow) So that’s the thought process.

    Now, you say to yourself that it is nonsense that Microsoft charges money for this, right? Right. Game developers are charged money for even making a DISC for any of the three major consoles. You have to get rights to even make content for them. Still nonsense, but it does has it’s upsides for developers big and small. Thing is, the developers want to be on the XBL. They want to be the “Featured Game” so they can get extra advertizement. If they are on the top DLC game list or just see a random ad that says “Best New IP from Phil Fish. Gamespot 9/10” blip then it might get an extra sale from a random XBL user who is bored. Other reasons they want to go to console is the pirating aspect. It is known fact that it isn’t 100% proof that you can’t pirate games on the three major consoles, but it is indeed HARDER than PC.

    Why am I telling you all this? Well, here’s the point. Phil Fish knew what he was getting in to. Microsoft magically come out of no where and tells you that if you fill a pen up with blood and sign your name, that you can bring back your dead girlfriend. In business it doesn’t work like that. I’m not 100% sure about how Microsoft gets “pitches” to their higher ups, but the process after I do know. You are to sign tones and tones of paperwork which unless you are stupid, you get an attorney that specializes in business who will read out the full contact and all the clauses. Aka like how much you have to pay Microsoft to be posted on XBL and how much it will cost you to patch the game. They probably also have some statements that says it’s a nondisclosure about said fees. That I’m not 100% sure about, but I wouldn’t be surprised because that is pretty normal now of days.

    Here’s the bottom line. Phil Fish made a game for XBL because he didn’t have to worry about pirating and he had a lot of people who will be checking out his game on a very popular platform. It was a win win for both parties. I would assume that Phil Fish KNEW that there would at least be one mandatory needed update to fix any bugs players came across from. He probably did not expect it to be this bad. They were probably also rushing the patch because fans are very easy to upset and Day 1 bugs/problems can either make or break a game. I direct your attention to Diablo 3 launch week. It set the tone and all it’s downfalls no matter how minor were made bigger because of it.

    Bottom line if anyone had to be blamed it was Phil Fish and who never makes the decision to release this patch and then say not to go back and fix it. To have the studio blame Microsoft shows the level of immaturity in the studio when they were doing what Microsoft was trying to do, make more money. If Phil Fish had of went to steam than he would have risked piracy and not making as much money as he feels he deserves. Problem is now that this has happened it has seems he probably losing more money with XBL than Steam.

    To the people who ask others to buy the game , I say this to you. I know that you like/enjoy your game, but for people on the outside looking in that it makes it hard for us to spend money on a game that has been known for bugs. What if there was another bug that people haven’t realized yet? If it wouldn’t be patched, than we have to “just deal with it”. That isn’t fair to anyone nor is it fair to paying customers. If anything Microsoft should allow returns for this game if you are one of those unlucky people who had this game ending bug. Because the first adopters are the most important people you can ever have as a business. If they enjoy the game, then they will tell their friends. Or twitter about it. They will go on message boards saying how amazing the game is. If you piss these people off then your word of mouth will ruin you. If you don’t believe me, then please look at Duke Nukem: Forever and see where that game ended up.

    • Fish made the game for XBLA because and i quote “Fez is a console game that’s meant to be played on a couch with a controller on a Saturday morning” not because of piracy.

      Bottom line is he screwed up and is not taking responsibility for his actions, which in tern he will see a drop in sales and a lot of people will be cautious when he releases a new game.

  • I actually think Microsoft charging to patch the game is good because it means devs don’t push out half finnished/tested games, but $40,000 is ridiculously expensive for indie titles which is what live is really for, so i’d say move the number to around $2000, not too much that the smallest devs can’t afford to patch it but not to small that it would stop people from testing their damn games before releasing it.

    • One of the major reasons the cost is so high (rather than at the $2000 mark you suggest) is that Microsoft also test the patch, making sure that it doesn’t introduce more bugs, threaten the integrity of the Xbox Live service (like the FIFA issue did), etc. To do this, you need to pay your staff. It isn’t a matter of just giving Microsoft $40,000 to do what they wish with it.

      Is $40,000 a fair amount? Who knows. Without knowing how the money is distributed, it’s pretty hard to say. But it certainly isn’t some hidden cost that Phil Fish was hit with.

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