Microsoft Deflects Responsibility Over Fez Patch Problems

#101 Posted by Fobwashed (1899 posts) -

@Dan_CiTi said:

@BlazeHedgehog: I have heard it was 1 free patch, after that it is like 40k; and I am pretty sure Bungie's sweet talk was "hey we are making Halo 3".

This is mentioned on the Penny-Arcade Report article on this same subject. It read as if to say that the second "patch" also included paid dlc content. So it made business sense for Microsoft to allow it so that they could also make some more dough off any dlc that got sold. At least, that's what the article read like =)

#102 Posted by bko (131 posts) -

I had no idea so many members of the Giant Bomb community were experts on game development. Where can I play your games? Oh, I can't? Weird.

#103 Posted by Mokes (36 posts) -

What? Microsoft being greedy? I'm shocked.

#104 Posted by Clonedzero (4091 posts) -

phil fish sounds like an asshole. im kinda glad i skipped fez, i dont wanna support douchebags.

#105 Posted by MattClassic (426 posts) -

@mandude: I like the way you think.

#106 Posted by EXTomar (4499 posts) -

Dunno...it sounds like both Fish and Microsoft are being evil.

#107 Edited by Orbitz89 (229 posts) -

I hardly know anything about Phil Fish.. But when i do hear anything about him he strikes me as kind of a douche.

Sorry to say but I'm inclined to believe what Microsoft is saying here.. I don't own an Xbox nor am I a fan of their company, But this whole thing sounds to me like a douche throwing a hissy fit.

#108 Posted by Conojo (143 posts) -

@Orbitz89: If you haven't gotten the chance you should really watch Indie Game the Movie. Fish is one of the main subjects, and while he does come off at times as a bit of a...well, douchey hot-head, he really seems more to be to someone who's just constantly afraid of failure, and at the same time kind of expecting it at the same time. He kind of seems just perpetually scared.

It's a really good movie which I heartily recommend, if of course you haven't already watched it :p

#109 Posted by LD50 (416 posts) -

microsoft it a ten thousand headed hydra. Phil Fish is an artist. Construction cannot be equated to software design. When did anyone but Mr. Fish and microsoft see the contract? Also, I guess since microsoft has never had any trouble with the government for monopoly building then it's obviously Phil who is using his titanic economic influence to crush competitors.

#110 Posted by SomeJerk (3143 posts) -

If, the bug only happens to some finished saves as they update to the latest version, then I understand saying "f it" to the 40 grand cost.
 
If the game however made the team (all two of them?) over a million in pure profit, then I would do a good thing for PR and pay that ugly sum and then go back in time and work out a deal with Sony and Steam and Nintendo. (ask the indie devs)

#111 Edited by Zelyre (1126 posts) -

@Kaiserreich said:

Phil Fishes only talent is having the biggest mouth in the entire industry.

From: http://www.nowgamer.com/features/950149/fez_interview_polytrons_phil_fish.html

“Fez is a console game, not a PC game,” he states, emphatically. “It’s made to be played with a controller, on a couch, on a Saturday morning. To me, that matters; that’s part of the medium.” I get so many comments shouting at me that I’m an idiot for not making a PC version. ‘You’d make so much more money! Can’t you see? Meatboy sold more on Steam!’ Good for them. But this matters more to me than sales or revenue. It’s a console game on a console. End of story.”

The guy just seems impulsive; acting and speaking without thinking about it first. I wouldn't be surprised if it was what appears to be a rash, impulsive behavior that led him to signing a contract with Microsoft that pretty much bent him over; I'm sure they showed him something shiny that turned out to be fool's gold.

It'll be interesting to see what happens. Fez, while looking nifty, doesn't seem like a "mainstream" title. The PS3 guys this game might interest? I'm sure they enjoy games from Japanese developers, developers he trashed.

WiiWare? “we’ll remember. Nintendo is turning its back to an entire generation of developers. It’s only going to hurt them in the long run.”

Steam? Check the forums on Steam for any game and it'll be filled with posts of, "Awesome game, buy it now!" or "Don't touch this because the developer touched my dad!"

So Mr. Fish burns bridges left and right, and when the shit hits the fan, he hopes those same people can pull him out of the fire?

https://twitter.com/hanfordlemoore/statuses/225747335026733056

#112 Posted by AnEternalEnigma (280 posts) -

Phil Fish is a goddamn idiot. It warms my heart to see him get humiliated like this.

#113 Posted by Slay3r1583 (600 posts) -

I don't know who to believe in this issue. Frankly the whole thing smells... fishy.

#114 Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1082 posts) -
@Dan_CiTi said:

@BlazeHedgehog: I have heard it was 1 free patch, after that it is like 40k; and I am pretty sure Bungie's sweet talk was "hey we are making Halo 3".

Pretty sure Marathon came out long after Halo 3.
#115 Posted by BirdkeeperDan (400 posts) -

I hate waiting for games to patch. The per patch cost is designed to provide incentive for getting the game/patch right the first time. As much as indie developers may whine I think it has been an advantage for Microsoft overall. Someday all patches may be automatic and in the background and this per patch cost can be removed but until then I'm happy it's there and already think developers are too reliant on patches. Also $10000 isn't much money for a sucessful XBLA release.

#116 Edited by MrOldboy (868 posts) -

I still have no sympathy for Polytron. I was hugely excited for Fez, but the technical quality of the game was just...poor. I still dont understand the acclaim the game gets with all of the issues it has. Then the patch breaks the game even more for some and we're supposed to sympathize with Fish and Polytron? Fuck that! Support your paying customers or we'll be much more apprehensive on buying your next game. I definitely will. Next time finish the fucking game before releasing it. There are many great examples of indie games that are of very high quality, but also have a very high level of polish and technical proficiency which cost the same as Fez does.

As others have also noted, I think Microsofts policy is the correct one. Let devs issue cheap patches and we'll all have to download a new one every month when the previous one breaks the game. Fish should have gotten it right the first time and not expect microsoft to find an bug that supposedly only affects 1% of users. Thats a 1% chance microsoft catches it.

#117 Posted by takkun169 (43 posts) -

The question that this entire situation brings up is "What is Microsoft's certification process for?" The certification process takes weeks and they didn't catch the problem, so what was that time spent on? If they say your first patch is free and then they certify it even though it has an issue with it, that seems like it was Microsoft's fuck up, or they let it through so that they could get paid on top of their cut of what the game makes. It's a shame because the game is fantastic but as usual Microsoft is out for self, and not sensible or flexible with the rules and guidelines they put in place.

#118 Edited by djaoni (339 posts) -

How about you stop using platforms that do not cater whatsoever to small indie companies, Phil? Yeah... Do that.

#119 Edited by Brodehouse (9586 posts) -

@takkun169 said:

The question that this entire situation brings up is "What is Microsoft's certification process for?" The certification process takes weeks and they didn't catch the problem, so what was that time spent on? If they say your first patch is free and then they certify it even though it has an issue with it, that seems like it was Microsoft's fuck up, or they let it through so that they could get paid on top of their cut of what the game makes. It's a shame because the game is fantastic but as usual Microsoft is out for self, and not sensible or flexible with the rules and guidelines they put in place.

It's to make sure that your game doesn't mess up people's consoles or Live experience, to make sure the game doesn't flip out and bring the whole thing down if you plug in a plastic guitar. It's not to run QA on game saves or to check frame rate, or collision detection, or random crashes. It's just to make sure the game doesn't brick consoles or refuse to bring up the guide menu.

@Hurricrane said:

I can see both sides of the issue, the cost is meant to prevent broken games (like New Vegas, that worked out) but is easily circumvented if they have enough money (like New Vegas).

No, it has nothing to do with cleaning up bugs or fixing broken quests. It's just to make sure that New Vegas doesn't make the 360 incapable of connecting to Live or incapable of returning to the home menu.

#120 Posted by Brodehouse (9586 posts) -

@BlazeHedgehog said:

A programmer from Bungie noted that Microsoft was actually generous enough to give them two free patches over the XBLA release of Marathon with a little sweet talking. But then again, "sweet talking" might not be Phil Fish's strong suit.

You can say that again. Phil Fish's twitter persona makes Jim Redmond or Randy Pitchford seem like Buddhist monks.

#121 Edited by Peanut (953 posts) -

@ERoBB I don't think Microsoft's policy is right, I think it's totally fucked, but I'm also tired of hearing about indies devs whining about the entire thing, especially when the ones who've been the loudest (Team Meat, J Blow) have made bank off of it regardless. My point is mother fucker has a job and it just so happens his job is making consumer products that people expect to work. Whatever excuses he comes up with about how his product functions are just that, excuses.

And way to take it to a personal level with the petty insults, kid.

@dennisthemennis If I made a bunch of money and had people paying for my product? Yes. Unless dude hardly broke even on Fez, which I doubt, it seems like total bullshit. I've had jobs go fucking haywire and I've lost money having to pay people to go back and do shit over, but I fucking did it, because people paid me money for a service. Pretty simple.

@Xeirus Alright? I don't remember ever saying I could make a better video game? What the fuck are you talking about?

And just so I don't get any more PM's telling me to "fuck myself" for being, among other things "a indie hater", I played and loved every second of Fez, I just happen to think the dude behind it needs to man up and not place blame for his mistakes elsewhere. Have a great night, gang.

#122 Edited by Orbitz89 (229 posts) -

@Conojo: I'd be interested in seeing that movie for sure.. But unfortunately I think I missed it's theatrical viewing schedule because I've never once seen a listing for it at any movie theater in my area. I think my best bet is to wait until it's available on Netflix.. I have the Canadian Netflix though so it might take a while.

#123 Posted by HyperionXR (272 posts) -

@AnEternalEnigma said:

Phil Fish is a goddamn idiot. It warms my heart to see him get humiliated like this.

I feel all tingly inside.

#124 Posted by Petiew (1331 posts) -

I typed "Phil Fish is" into Google and laughed heartily at the suggested results.
 This lead me to his Twitter where I found this gem.
PHIL FISHPHIL_FISH

alex_navarro and what exactly have you shipped, alex? (testing doesn't count) 
 
Don't know anything about the guy, but it doesn't seem he's very well liked.

Online
#125 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2485 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@Krakn3Dfx If I could point you to a source I would I do remember reading an article last year sometime that covered this exact issue. That was the first time I heard about the costs involved with patching. Can't blame you if you dont believe me I dont have a on-hand source but I do remember reading that.

That's cool, I often find myself in the same situation, read something and can't remember/figure out where. Stupid internets! :)

#126 Posted by thebestestbear (7 posts) -

Everyone is making this look like some sort of war between Fish and Microsoft. They're really just stating the situations. Neither one of them is blaming the other. Phil was basically all like, "I mean... it sucks, but we can't patch again cuz it's just too expensive you know? It's just the way it is." And then everyone was like "OHHH MANN PHIL'S HATIN' ON MICROSOFT. RAACE WARR." and then Microsoft was like "no no no.. like. It's all cool. We're cool with each other, people. There's no problem. We tried working things out, but it ended up not working out." And now the internet is like "AWW PHIL IS JUST AN ASSHOLE BLAHBLABBEDYBLAH" when in reality it's not really a big deal. Fez is still an amazing game, and that's all that really matters.

#127 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1317 posts) -

Microsoft doesn't seem to want to turn their entire Live and general online service around right now, opting to wait for their next large push with their new upcoming console in 1-2 years or whatever. That's fine, right now though there's some growing pains because the online gaming scene has sort of grown because of what Live started but it's quickly grown out of those shoes and needs a set of new ones.. and could have used them last year even. Mom is opting to not buy new fucking shoes for tommy every few months, instead telling him to suck it up and wait till next school year. Tommy is sad, but mommy don't give a shit cause he will forget once he gets the new shoes.

#128 Edited by LD50 (416 posts) -

@DJJoeJoe said:

Microsoft doesn't seem to want to turn their entire Live and general online service around right now, opting to wait for their next large push with their new upcoming console in 1-2 years or whatever. That's fine, right now though there's some growing pains because the online gaming scene has sort of grown because of what Live started but it's quickly grown out of those shoes and needs a set of new ones.. and could have used them last year even. Mom is opting to not buy new fucking shoes for tommy every few months, instead telling him to suck it up and wait till next school year. Tommy is sad, but mommy don't give a shit cause he will forget once he gets the new shoes.

No offence, who is Mom and Tommy in this allegory? I'm not very smart. :]

#129 Posted by big_jon (5709 posts) -

Can someone explain to me all the hate for Phil Fish?

Is it because of his awesome name?

#130 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@mbkish: Also, the 40k thing wasn't anything to do with Fish. He just pulled that out of his ass. and it makes sense when MS has things like cert to make sure the patch isn't just breaking things horribly, etc. MS does a lot more than just make people pay for the right to be on the service, they are very involved in the process. That makes things expensive, but it's how they chose to do business, and Fish knew that all along.

#131 Posted by Chet_Rippo (233 posts) -

How is this in any way microsoft's fault? They let Polytron release the first patch for free, and it ended up causing problems. Of course they aren't going to do that again.

#132 Posted by Australia (126 posts) -

When I heard about the bug I took my console offline so that I could finish the game without it patching and potentially killing my save. As soon as a finished the game I quit out, and reconnected to xbox live, the game patched and now my Fez save file is dead. It sucks because if they pushed the update a couple of weeks ago and kept it up I would have been able to avoid the problem as the bug wouldn't have affected me. So in a way I got the worst of it. I had to play through the whole game without the patch which would have fixed a few bugs, then when I did get the patch it killed my save. This whole situation is kinda shitty and to be honest, I wouldn't have taken Phil Fish to have been the kind of guy who would let money get in the way of his masterpiece.

#133 Posted by Hailinel (23901 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@takkun169 said:

The question that this entire situation brings up is "What is Microsoft's certification process for?" The certification process takes weeks and they didn't catch the problem, so what was that time spent on? If they say your first patch is free and then they certify it even though it has an issue with it, that seems like it was Microsoft's fuck up, or they let it through so that they could get paid on top of their cut of what the game makes. It's a shame because the game is fantastic but as usual Microsoft is out for self, and not sensible or flexible with the rules and guidelines they put in place.

It's to make sure that your game doesn't mess up people's consoles or Live experience, to make sure the game doesn't flip out and bring the whole thing down if you plug in a plastic guitar. It's not to run QA on game saves or to check frame rate, or collision detection, or random crashes. It's just to make sure the game doesn't brick consoles or refuse to bring up the guide menu.

@Hurricrane said:

I can see both sides of the issue, the cost is meant to prevent broken games (like New Vegas, that worked out) but is easily circumvented if they have enough money (like New Vegas).

No, it has nothing to do with cleaning up bugs or fixing broken quests. It's just to make sure that New Vegas doesn't make the 360 incapable of connecting to Live or incapable of returning to the home menu.

This. A million times this. As someone that's actually done certification testing, the main thing I was told on my first day was that our job is to verify that the games we test pass the criteria required for release. That meant that testing was mostly comprised of:

  • Verifying that disc-read and system errors were handled correctly.
  • Verifying that system-level menus (ex: 360 Dashboard, XMB, Wii Home Menu) were properly implemented.
  • Verifying that audio channels are being used correctly.
  • Verifying that the game is displayed in the correct aspect ratio.
  • Verifying tests related to saving/loading (interrupting saves in process, etc.)
  • Verifying that the game does not screw up if left on for an extended period of time.
  • Limited gameplay testing, in which catastrophic issues that are found can result in a certification failure.
  • Testing the online functions to make sure that they comply with the console network standards.
  • And so on.

Note on this last point that I say limited testing. This does not mean that certification will play through an entire game start to finish. I know what the policies were at the company I cert tested for years ago when I was doing it, but I was not testing at Microsoft and thus have no idea what their standards for this level of testing are. I do, however, believe that it's a safe bet that they are not required to play through the entire game. If they had to play every game thy certified from start to finish, they wouldn't have time for anything else. Certification testing does not take two months. It might take a day at most, save for any overnight tests that need to get done.

What certification does not do, is QA a developer's game. The bug in the Fez patch that may result in complete or near complete game saves corrupting came in an unfortunate area of the game that existed outside the scope of the certification process. It is not Microsoft's fault that the bug was not found. It's not necessarily Polytron's either, because it's a rare case that requires save files to be in a specific state of completion. It's a scenario that could have been very easy to miss, and that's unfortunate for all involved.

What none of this excuses, however, is Fish's tendency to mouth off in public forums. He is not a PR person. He does not have the personality for it. He may be a brilliant game designer, but he does not seem hesitant in the least when the opportunity to burn a bridge comes along.

#134 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

@Dixavd said:

@Pinworm45 said:

Also, they need to run tests and make sure the game won't cause any problems to the system, so they have to pay employees to do that for every update

I just want to point out how hilarious that line is in context; if only Microsoft was actually successful at doing that.

They are? I mean I assume you think it's funny because of RROD but that's an entirely different department. Tests have to be run to make sure software updates won't put the system in a loop or otherwise damage it. As far as I know, no updates have broken the system, so they're doing a decent job I'd say..

#135 Posted by Damolition (119 posts) -

I hope that out there, somewhere, Phil Fish is sitting at a bar making moody dialogues about Microsoft.

#136 Posted by Shady (503 posts) -

@big_jon said:

Can someone explain to me all the hate for Phil Fish?

Is it because of his awesome name?

My understanding is he acts like a jerk when he opens his mouth.

#137 Posted by LD50 (416 posts) -

@Shady said:

@big_jon said:

Can someone explain to me all the hate for Phil Fish?

Is it because of his awesome name?

My understanding is he acts like a jerk when he opens his mouth.

Dammit, I may be a jerk. He's sounds like he's being honest to me, not so much a jerk.

But you're right Shady, that's the rep he has.

#138 Posted by EXTomar (4499 posts) -

System testing like this is great but both of them need to be honest that this level of testing and fee automatically makes it hard for entire classes of games impossible to release on XBox Live.

#139 Posted by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

@Alex said:

According to Polytron, less than a 1% of Fez players are vulnerable to the bug in the original patch. The bug specifically affects saves from completed games, or near-completed games.

Not a good sign when only 1% of your fans are even close to completing your game.

#140 Posted by jaks (244 posts) -

Not sure why people believe Phil Fish when he shoots his mouth off anyway. He's dishonest and an attention whore, and he has an excuse for everything.

#141 Posted by pw2566ch (480 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

@pw2566ch said:

@Superanos said:

What are Fez's sales numbers? If the game was a big success, they could afford the $40k easily.

That's not the point. I understand $40k chump change to a high selling game, but no company should have to dish out that much just to upload a patch. Not even EA and Activision.

I wonder if it's the same amount to upload a patch on PSN and Steam.

Uh, why shouldn't they? If they don't, Microsoft has to eat the bandwidth costs (and remember, everyone who plays the game, at least with internet (which you need to get it..) get the update, so why should microsoft eat those bandwidth costs?

Especially given that they DO eat the bandwidth costs for the first patch.

Also, they need to run tests and make sure the game won't cause any problems to the system, so they have to pay employees to do that for every update, in addition to the bandwidth to send out updates, updating their servers with the new stuff, etc. Why should they be responsible because someone released a broken game? It's their responsibility to make sure it's not, and frankly it's generous of Microsoft to allow one free update.

I mean seriously, why should Microsoft be paying for someone elses mistakes? Especially when THEY SIGNED A CONTRACT ACKNOWLEDGING THESE COSTS AT THE START. They could have declined and moved to another system that wouldn't charge any fees (hint: they all do).

Why does everyone think bandwidth costs a shit ton of money. If that was the case, don't you think that every console and every download distributor (Steam, Gamestop, Origin) would apply the same methods? Hell, if that was the case, then PSN should start charging their users $60 a year as well. Or maybe Steam should stop having sales.

But hey, they're a company and they know that it would only cost $40k to distribute a 20MB patch (small game so I'm assuming it's a small patch) to the millions of people that bought the game.

#142 Posted by Autechresaint (56 posts) -

I don't understand how you can take what Phil Fish says at face value, Patrick. Just his dealings with his partner over the indie game movie proves to me that he's a drama queen and that everything is everyone else's fault, not his.

#143 Posted by Hooray2 (5 posts) -
@Australia: Your save file is corrupt too?? 
 
I'm going on record now:  This patch corrupts 100% of save files of people who finish New Game+.  Everyone.  Not "less than 1%" as Phil Fish claimed. 
 
Phil Fish made a game that was presentable enough to earn $1,000,000, then took that revenue and ran.  He has no intention of fixing it, and he created a red herring by making many people argue on the Internet about "$40,000."  Phil Fish is a grifter, a snake oil salesman, and a failure.  I challenge anyone to prove me otherwise.
#144 Edited by J12088 (435 posts) -

Frankly i think it's real shitty to leave your game broken. Even if it is for 1% of users. Fez sold a ton it's going to be ported to other systems and it will no doubt sell even more. The guys made a lot of money out of it but wont spend some of that money fixing his game?

It reeks of him just being a greedy drama queen. To see how worked up he got in indie game the movie over fez about it being perfect and now he's suddenly not too fussed when it costs him money? Guys just a douche. Never had this problem with meat boy, braid or limbo to name a few. Hell castle crashers had it's issues you never saw those guys refuse to fix there shit.

You brush this off and take his side but ask yourself this; how many XBLA games are broken? I can't think of any. No other dev on there has had an issue putting out patches. If it does cost 40k it would seem the majority take it on the chin and the majority wont have sold as well as Fez.

#145 Posted by jNerd (2011 posts) -

Interesting retort from Microsoft. I see they call bologna on Phil blaming them for everything.

#146 Posted by TPoppaPuff (238 posts) -

Phil Fish has enough money on his own to easily pay for the patch while hardly batting an eye. But he'd rather blame Microsoft, cuz that's what Fish does. And what's sad is he's duped the majority of the gaming community into taking his side. He could honestly post a kickstarter and get more than enough money to pay for the patch, but he would just take the money and run. He doesn't wanna work on the game anymore; pure and simple.

Microsoft should offer refunds to those affected. Microsoft should recoup that money from all future sales of Fez until paid for.

#147 Posted by billymagnum (719 posts) -

well look at me. mr. less than %1 here, yep im boned. just about 99% done too. thanks polytron. i doubt youll offer anything to we the ppl who were boned.

#148 Posted by egg (1450 posts) -

"We remain huge fans of Fez."

What an abstract pandering comment. If you're huge fans, how come you don't pay for the update?

#149 Posted by Hailinel (23901 posts) -

@egg said:

"We remain huge fans of Fez."

What an abstract pandering comment. If you're huge fans, how come you don't pay for the update?

They aren't going to make an exception just because. Polytron already used their one free patch. The next one had to be paid for unless they could somehow sweet-talk Microsoft into letting them push a second one for free. Fish's mouth, however, is not up to that task.

#150 Posted by Sammo21 (3211 posts) -

@Grissefar: You know people who say "first" in posts mostly show people they are dicks, right? Also, saying "first" doesn't net you the achievement anyway, even though you stated you already had.

Personally I think they should ban people from commenting when they do the whole "first" thing.

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