Microsoft has taken a hit for its attitudes towards independent developers during the launch of the Xbox One but, in response, it created [email protected] — a program that allows developers to create and publish games on the Xbox One. Now we've learned that the fees usually involved with creating updates to independent games on Xbox LIVE have been removed. Developers can now update their games at any time at zero cost.
This solves an issue that many independent developers had with Microsoft and publishing on the Xbox 360. The most famous example of this centred around Phil Fish and his game Fez. After issuing a patch that caused more problems than it solved, Fish claimed he would not be 'patching' the 'patch', since it affected a very small amount of players, but mainly because he claimed that it would cost "tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game".
But with the Xbox One it appears as though these fees will be a thing of the past.
In an email sent to developers signed up to the [email protected] program, Microsoft confirmed it would not be charging developers to update their games.
We also want to reiterate that at no point in the process will you be paying Microsoft anything to ship your game: there are no fees to certify or ship your game on Xbox One, and there are no fees for updates. (There is the standard revenue share once you start selling games, of course!) You’re also not limited in the number of updates you can do.
Good news for developers, considering this was a major obstacle for many smaller teams with smaller budgets.