Fez Left Broken, Highlighting How XBLA Shoots Itself in the Foot

Fez

Long-awaited Xbox Live Arcade title Fez received a patch last month fixing a long list of issues. However, despite this patch taking more than two months after the game’s initial release to show up, it proved to introduce a serious issue of its own: it could corrupt players’ save game files. The update was pulled from Xbox Live and we’ve been awaiting a fixed version, only we now know one is not coming. Developer Polytron has announced its decision to re-release the patch as-is due to the cost involved in issuing a new one. This is yet another illustration of how Microsoft has hamstrung Xbox Live Arcade and ensured that, without changes, it will never fulfill its potential.

But first, Polytron’s decision demands addressing. A blog post from last night explained that Microsoft would charge “tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game,” and with the save corruption happening to less than one percent of players (and most often to players “who had completed, or almost completed the game”), it has been deemed “safe for an overwhelming majority of players.” Microsoft agrees the patch is ‘good enough’ to be re-released, and you can now go about downloading the patch (if you haven’t previously) to fix the framerate, various crash bugs, and so on. Polytron notes that, had it been released on Steam, “the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us.” Between this and a subsequent tweet, it certainly sounds like a Steam release is in the works.

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