Microsoft Deflects Responsibility Over Fez Patch Problems

#201 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow: Wait, who are you replying to?

#202 Edited by Brodehouse (10129 posts) -

@Dagmar said:

@Eckshale said:

@Brodehouse said:

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

Steam bears no responsibility as to whether your hardware can run a game or not, the game has always worked on all my machines even when unpatched i only grab the patch for the enhancements it brings.

But Microsoft does bear that responsibility. That's the entire point.

HAH! Since when is it Valve's problem if someone buys a game they don't meet the system requirements for. With your example the free patches don't matter because the developer no longer exists. The only reason you can play it AT ALL is because of a fan patch. Why would Valve host a fan patch?

"100% Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP-compatible mouse, keyboard, and drivers"

The information is there, if you didn't read it, it's your problem.

THIS IS THE ENTIRE POINT! Microsoft has a cert process (that costs money) because any game released on XBLA must work with any 360. Steam does not have that commitment/requirement. Hence, XBLA charges for cert and Steam doesn't have it. THIS IS THE ENTIRE POINT. You can buy something on Steam that doesn't work, but Microsoft cannot allow that on their console. If you don't think the 'requirement' is relevant, then by definition, the cost of patching isn't a relevant consideration either (and especially not to consumers). You absolutely cannot have it both ways.

@SeriouslyNow said:

If you had a machine of the recommended specs for Vampire : Bloodlines your comparison would be relevant. Your machine would be the equivalent of an Xbox 360 in that it would be the same fixed platform it was in 2003. You don't, so it isn't. You have a machine well beyond those specs with hardware which is markedly different than what was available and recommended for the game in 2003. You are most certainly cherry picking an impossible to replicate scenario on XBox Live because PCs have changed a whole lot since 2003 and the 360 hasn't effectlvely changed much at all since its release (different motherboards and hard drive sizes sure, but effectively it's still the same system as it was when it launched).

Then there's the whole other aspect where you're trying illustrate a downside when it's really an upside. Troika went out of business and without fan patches like the one you easily procured to 'modernise' the game there would be no simple way to even purchase it were it not for Steam or even patch it if we were left to only one port of call for access as in XBOX Live.

No, actually my entire point is that people are cherrypicking on Steam's behalf; 'patches are free' while ignoring why Microsoft has a cert process that costs money. Which is to say, so a customer doesn't buy something that won't run off the dashboard. Steam doesn't do cert, they don't charge for patches, but they also have things on their store that won't work. You can make this about Vampire if you like, but I also have problems with Hitman. The problem there is "Can't find Steam". Where there is no patch solution and you have to switch from offline back to on and then it loads like normal. But that's the point, if they were released on XBLA, Microsoft would do cert to make sure they work on anyone's 360 regardless of hardware revision. Steam doesn't, and so the patches are free.

I didn't bring up an unfair comparison or cherrypick an advantage, Phil Fish and Brad Muir did. If Rockstar releases a Max Payne 3 patch that bricks a bunch of 360s, now Microsoft has to replace a bunch of borked consoles. If Rockstar releases a Max Payne 3 patch that makes your processor burn into the center of the Earth, Steam doesn't give a shit. Not their problem. But it is Microsoft's problem.

#203 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

I hate to diverge on the topic but shouldn't a properly engineered hardware platform avoid "bricking" if it is operating normally running normal software? I'm confused why you think it is Rockstar's fault when the Microsoft hardware fails beyond it happened to be the thing in the drive when it last worked. It would be one thing if Rockstar was hacking or subverting API or and system features but there is no indication they were doing anything exotic so how is it Rockstar's fault someone's 360 stopped working? Unless there is a documented errata somewhere that tells developers "Calling this function in this manner causes an unrecoverable system fault" I'm not exactly sure why Rockstar is to blame or how they (or Microsoft) would have caught it either.

And this is where Fish kind of has a point: Regardless of "who's fault" the developer needs to address it. In the example, even if Rockstar was making sane calls they would probably have to do another patch to avoid that newly discovered bad call. Should Rockstar eat the patch cost since they discovered something out of their control?

I'm not letting Fish off the hook either but pointing out the situation is not black and white. It isn't unreasonable that a fixing a bug exposes another more subtle bug where spending more time reviewing the code might help as well as Microsoft being a bit more flexible in these cases where a bug leads to a secondary bug.

#204 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

If you had a machine of the recommended specs for Vampire : Bloodlines your comparison would be relevant. Your machine would be the equivalent of an Xbox 360 in that it would be the same fixed platform it was in 2003. You don't, so it isn't. You have a machine well beyond those specs with hardware which is markedly different than what was available and recommended for the game in 2003. You are most certainly cherry picking an impossible to replicate scenario on XBox Live because PCs have changed a whole lot since 2003 and the 360 hasn't effectlvely changed much at all since its release (different motherboards and hard drive sizes sure, but effectively it's still the same system as it was when it launched).

Then there's the whole other aspect where you're trying illustrate a downside when it's really an upside. Troika went out of business and without fan patches like the one you easily procured to 'modernise' the game there would be no simple way to even purchase it were it not for Steam or even patch it if we were left to only one port of call for access as in XBOX Live.

No, actually my entire point is that people are cherrypicking on Steam's behalf; 'patches are free' while ignoring why Microsoft has a cert process that costs money. Which is to say, so a customer doesn't buy something that won't run off the dashboard. Steam doesn't do cert, they don't charge for patches, but they also have things on their store that won't work. You can make this about Vampire if you like, but I also have problems with Hitman. The problem there is "Can't find Steam". Where there is no patch solution and you have to switch from offline back to on and then it loads like normal. But that's the point, if they were released on XBLA, Microsoft would do cert to make sure they work on anyone's 360 regardless of hardware revision. Steam doesn't, and so the patches are free.

I didn't bring up an unfair comparison or cherrypick an advantage, Phil Fish and Brad Muir did. If Rockstar releases a Max Payne 3 patch that bricks a bunch of 360s, now Microsoft has to replace a bunch of borked consoles. If Rockstar releases a Max Payne 3 patch that makes your processor burn into the center of the Earth, Steam doesn't give a shit. Not their problem. But it is Microsoft's problem.

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

#205 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@SeriouslyNow: Wait, who are you replying to?

Silly editor. I deleted that because I replied to you in error and it somehow stayed that. Hi honey.

#206 Posted by unholyone123 (198 posts) -

Remember the days when Console developers had to get it right the first time? Yeah, I miss those days.

#207 Posted by raikoh05 (421 posts) -

Huge fans, they said. Not huge enough.

#208 Edited by Bummey (616 posts) -

@unholyone123 said:

Remember the days when Console developers had to get it right the first time? Yeah, I miss those days.

And do you remember how, when they didn't get it right (most of the time), those old games were shipped with crazy bugs and exploits? I don't think you understand what goes into programming a video game. Or programming anything, for that matter.

#209 Posted by FMinus (399 posts) -

This is so wrong, that developers/publishers must pay to update a game that in the end can benefit Microsoft even more than anyone else. I hope Valve hasn't got something stupid like this for Steam now or in the future.

#210 Posted by unholyone123 (198 posts) -

@Bummey said:

@unholyone123 said:

Remember the days when Console developers had to get it right the first time? Yeah, I miss those days.

And do you remember how, when they didn't get it right (most of the time), those old games were shipped with crazy bugs and exploits? I don't think you understand what goes into programming a video game. Or programming anything, for that matter.

I do understand what goes into a game. It takes a lot of skill, dedication, and hard work. Before downloadable patches, however, console developers knew that they only had one shot at getting it right so they would try to make the game as bug free as possible. Yes, a lot of games would ship with bugs, but most of those bugs weren't game breaking. It seems that today a lot of developers have embraced the "we'll fix it later" mentality. Jeff talks about it in one of his jar videos, sorry I can't remember which one. I understand that is "just the way it is" these days and it's fine for the most part, but just look at all the problems Phil Fish is having. As a side note, I have never seen any developer, indie or otherwise, conduct themselves in such an immature and unprofessional manner as Phil Fish has. At first I kind of felt sorry for him, but now I look at him as a spoiled child who is throwing a tantrum because he doesn't get his way all the time. Yes, maybe Microsoft is overcharging developers for updates, but Phil Fish knew the score when he signed that contract. He could have walked away and went with Steam instead. That seems to be the place to go for aspiring indie developers.

#211 Posted by Mr_JPeps (167 posts) -

Oh no, something bad happened to Phil Fish and now we are all talking about it. Dude is the master at his craft that's for sure, so long as his craft is bitching and getting people to talk about him, and not, you know... making games.

#212 Edited by CptMorganCA (211 posts) -

@SpudBug: I remember reading tons of stuff about six months or so ago talking about how Microsoft tends not to want a developer's downloadable game that was previously exclusive on PSN unless it comes with extra content, like Joe Danger. So perhaps Microsoft wouldn't even let Fez on the console if it released on PSN first.

#213 Edited by spazmaster666 (1991 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

@CptMorganCA said:

@SpudBug: I remember reading tons of stuff about six months or so ago talking about how Microsoft tends not to want a developer's downloadable game that was previously exclusive on PSN unless it comes with extra content, like Joe Danger. So perhaps Microsoft wouldn't even let Fez on the console if it released on PSN first.

Sony has the a similar policy about previous (other) console exclusives coming to their platform, at least according to John Carmack.

#214 Posted by fiberpay (282 posts) -

Smaller indie games have had multiple patches on Live. Fish just needs to suck it up and pay like everyone else. Also, I love how everyone takes tim's quote of UP TO 40k as how much it costs. None of you know, it could have been 10k and Microsoft said they would work with him on price. He is being a greedy ass, wish I never bought this game, for sure wont buy another game of his.

#215 Posted by TheWesman (378 posts) -

The fact that MIcrosoft said anything surprises me. Wow.

#216 Posted by divakchopra (86 posts) -

"Hey i gotta eat too"

~Ballmer

#217 Posted by BitterAlmond (400 posts) -

The fact that Microsoft does not want to tell us how much it costs to release patches is pretty shady. I'm taking Phil Fish's word on this one.

#218 Posted by Wastrel (78 posts) -

I wonder what their offer was to Fish and co...I also wonder if they wonder why it didn't work.

#219 Posted by BitterAlmond (400 posts) -

@FMinus said:

This is so wrong, that developers/publishers must pay to update a game that in the end can benefit Microsoft even more than anyone else. I hope Valve hasn't got something stupid like this for Steam now or in the future.

Steam's servers are sponsored (if you ever click "play when ready" or whatever the button says as a game downloads/patches, you sometimes will see a small banner ad on your loading window), so no big fear there.

#220 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@spazmaster666 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

It's not a misleading comparison.

VALVe has to spend time and money certifying patches. That's why Steam versions of games often differ from their general retail equivalents; because these versions of the games use Steam's DRM (and sometimes have to support other types of DRM at the same time due to publisher demands) and interface with things like Steam Workshop and the social aspects of Steam (achievements, Gift Trading, Steam Community In Game and so on). Then there's another level where Steam offers ATI drivers for download and does regular PC Surveys too, this is part of the whole profiling and cert process which is a core part of the Steam experience. The assumption that VALVe doesn't do any certification is incorrect. They do, of course they do, they just don't make the developer wear all of the burden. Gabe has said time and again that he thinks the best path to success is for Steam to be as convenient as possible for all involved, to be more convenient than piracy and tnat's what it achieves almost every time. Its phenomenal growth rate speaks volumes.

To be frank, Steam's approach to patching is better because it's more timely, less of inconvenience to all involved and yet it deals with a much wider variety of components, systems (Steam is on Windows, Android and Mac OS, with Linux on the horizon) and user demands (there's nothing like Steam Workshop or Gift Trading on Xbox Live).

Phil's complaints are valid. Once the cert process gets in the way of the developer and the customer it no longer serves its purpose. If MS aren't scaling down its price to match smaller endeavours then they really don't support Indie Developers.

Yes, Phil can be (and often is) a loudmouthed dick but that doesn't make his comments automatically invalid. He's a customer of MS, of course he has room to complain. The idea that if you've signed something you shouldn't complain is fallacious. People always have a right to complain and when they can clearly illustrate the reasons why they most certainly should. If his complaining serves to make MS change their cert pricing for smaller concerns (like Indies and Volunteer Organisations and such) then his complaints have done people a service even if MS won't bend on his individual contract.

#221 Posted by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@ Spazmaster666 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

It's not a misleading comparison.

VALVe has to spend time and money certifying patches. That's why Steam versions of games often differ from their general retail equivalents; because these versions of the games use Steam's DRM (and sometimes have to support other types of DRM at the same time due to publisher demands) and interface with things like Steam Workshop and the social aspects of Steam (achievements, Gift Trading, Steam Community In Game and so on). Then there's another level where Steam offers ATI drivers for download and does regular PC Surveys too, this is part of the whole profiling and cert process which is a core part of the Steam experience. The assumption that VALVe doesn't do any certification is incorrect. They do, of course they do, they just don't make the developer wear all of the burden. Gabe has said time and again that he thinks the best path to success is for Steam to be as convenient as possible for all involved, to be more convenient than piracy and tnat's what it achieves almost every time. Its phenomenal growth rate speaks volumes.

To be frank, Steam's approach to patching is better because it's more timely, less of inconvenience to all involved and yet it deals with a much wider variety of components, systems (Steam is on Windows, Android and Mac OS, with Linux on the horizon) and user demands (there's nothing like Steam Workshop or Gift Trading on Xbox Live).

Phil's complaints are valid. Once the cert process gets in the way of the developer and the customer it no longer serves its purpose. If MS aren't scaling down its price to match smaller endeavours then they really don't support Indie Developers.

Yes, Phil can be (and often is) a loudmouthed dick but that doesn't make his comments automatically invalid. He's a customer of MS, of course he has room to complain. The idea that if you've signed something you shouldn't complain is fallacious. People always have a right to complain and when they can clearly illustrate the reasons why they most certainly should. If his complaining serves to make MS change their cert pricing for smaller concerns (like Indies and Volunteer Organisations and such) then his complaints have done people a service even if MS won't bend on his individual contract.

It's weird that I agree that paying a company to allow you to patch your game but I think Fish saying this about Microsoft is incredibly moronic. I said this earlier but Fish is pretty much biting the hand that feeds. He's not thinking about the big picture. His arguments can be as valid as the sky is blue but that doesn't change the fact that his company's future would be much better off if he didn't call out a big company like Microsoft. It's just bad business.

I think in terms of Fish's behavior, the argument should really be about whether he should have said anything at all, if he knew about these costs before putting the game on XBLA, and whether it is reasonable to not patch the game. The fact of the matter is that the cost for patching the game on XBLA is the cost. It's as simple as that. With those in mind, Fish really shouldn't have said anything publicly, he probably knew the cost of patching the game before putting it on XBLA so he has no room to complain, and I do think it is reasonable to not patch the game because it sounds like the glitches hit a fairly small number of people. The other argument is whether or not that patch-cost is necessary. My guess is no.

Online
#222 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@ Spazmaster666 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

It's not a misleading comparison.

VALVe has to spend time and money certifying patches. That's why Steam versions of games often differ from their general retail equivalents; because these versions of the games use Steam's DRM (and sometimes have to support other types of DRM at the same time due to publisher demands) and interface with things like Steam Workshop and the social aspects of Steam (achievements, Gift Trading, Steam Community In Game and so on). Then there's another level where Steam offers ATI drivers for download and does regular PC Surveys too, this is part of the whole profiling and cert process which is a core part of the Steam experience. The assumption that VALVe doesn't do any certification is incorrect. They do, of course they do, they just don't make the developer wear all of the burden. Gabe has said time and again that he thinks the best path to success is for Steam to be as convenient as possible for all involved, to be more convenient than piracy and tnat's what it achieves almost every time. Its phenomenal growth rate speaks volumes.

To be frank, Steam's approach to patching is better because it's more timely, less of inconvenience to all involved and yet it deals with a much wider variety of components, systems (Steam is on Windows, Android and Mac OS, with Linux on the horizon) and user demands (there's nothing like Steam Workshop or Gift Trading on Xbox Live).

Phil's complaints are valid. Once the cert process gets in the way of the developer and the customer it no longer serves its purpose. If MS aren't scaling down its price to match smaller endeavours then they really don't support Indie Developers.

Yes, Phil can be (and often is) a loudmouthed dick but that doesn't make his comments automatically invalid. He's a customer of MS, of course he has room to complain. The idea that if you've signed something you shouldn't complain is fallacious. People always have a right to complain and when they can clearly illustrate the reasons why they most certainly should. If his complaining serves to make MS change their cert pricing for smaller concerns (like Indies and Volunteer Organisations and such) then his complaints have done people a service even if MS won't bend on his individual contract.

It's weird that I agree that paying a company to allow you to patch your game but I think Fish saying this about Microsoft is incredibly moronic. I said this earlier but Fish is pretty much biting the hand that feeds. He's not thinking about the big picture. His arguments can be as valid as the sky is blue but that doesn't change the fact that his company's future would be much better off if he didn't call out a big company like Microsoft. It's just bad business.

I think in terms of Fish's behavior, the argument should really be about whether he should have said anything at all, if he knew about these costs before putting the game on XBLA, and whether it is reasonable to not patch the game. The fact of the matter is that the cost for patching the game on XBLA is the cost. It's as simple as that. With those in mind, Fish really shouldn't have said anything publicly, he probably knew the cost of patching the game before putting it on XBLA so he has no room to complain, and I do think it is reasonable to not patch the game because it sounds like the glitches hit a fairly small number of people. The other argument is whether or not that patch-cost is necessary. My guess is no.

Huh? Why do you think his company depends on MS at all? MS didn't feed him, they saw an opportunity in signing Fez and making it exclusive and payed for that opportunity. Indie games like Fez and Super Meat Boy only increased the 360's profile. You're painting MS as some all powerful mafia that people should be afraid to call out. That sounds crazy to me. This culture of 'fear the big business' is something so alien to me as an Australian. We constantly rail against businesses who they do wrong.

#223 Posted by SpartyOn (500 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@spazmaster666 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

It's not a misleading comparison.

VALVe has to spend time and money certifying patches. That's why Steam versions of games often differ from their general retail equivalents; because these versions of the games use Steam's DRM (and sometimes have to support other types of DRM at the same time due to publisher demands) and interface with things like Steam Workshop and the social aspects of Steam (achievements, Gift Trading, Steam Community In Game and so on). Then there's another level where Steam offers ATI drivers for download and does regular PC Surveys too, this is part of the whole profiling and cert process which is a core part of the Steam experience. The assumption that VALVe doesn't do any certification is incorrect. They do, of course they do, they just don't make the developer wear all of the burden. Gabe has said time and again that he thinks the best path to success is for Steam to be as convenient as possible for all involved, to be more convenient than piracy and tnat's what it achieves almost every time. Its phenomenal growth rate speaks volumes.

To be frank, Steam's approach to patching is better because it's more timely, less of inconvenience to all involved and yet it deals with a much wider variety of components, systems (Steam is on Windows, Android and Mac OS, with Linux on the horizon) and user demands (there's nothing like Steam Workshop or Gift Trading on Xbox Live).

Phil's complaints are valid. Once the cert process gets in the way of the developer and the customer it no longer serves its purpose. If MS aren't scaling down its price to match smaller endeavours then they really don't support Indie Developers.

Yes, Phil can be (and often is) a loudmouthed dick but that doesn't make his comments automatically invalid. He's a customer of MS, of course he has room to complain. The idea that if you've signed something you shouldn't complain is fallacious. People always have a right to complain and when they can clearly illustrate the reasons why they most certainly should. If his complaining serves to make MS change their cert pricing for smaller concerns (like Indies and Volunteer Organisations and such) then his complaints have done people a service even if MS won't bend on his individual contract.

The reason he shouldn't complain now, is because he knew what he was getting into. He saw, and agreed to, Microsoft's prices and decided to make a game on their platform anyways. The complaining usually comes BEFORE the agreeing.

#224 Posted by Dan_CiTi (3512 posts) -

@BlazeHedgehog said:

@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.

Yeah the XBLA version came out a bit later, but they were still making Halo games and such. I heard from Mike Z, the director of Skullgirls that they had one free patch (the upcoming one) then they had to pay for anymore following that.

#225 Posted by vacancy (64 posts) -

I beleave Microsofts costs are due to they feeling that the xbox is a video game console and as such it should ship completed games. Patches I think are to them a failure from the publisher and the high cost of a patch is a kind of find. We might not live in a world any more where games are completed before release like they were on early consoles and perhaps Microsoft should change this. But as a gamer AND a developer I really would want games to be done and working prior to release.

#226 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Phil Fish is such a little bitch, first PCs are for spreadsheets and now he sings the praises of Steam. Pay to fix your game if you're inept at doing it right the first time.

plus the game would've sold way more on Steam if he cut his console fanboyism out in the first place.

#227 Posted by G0rd0nFr33m4n (762 posts) -

I didn't buy Fez.

Seeing how much of a bitchy elitist dude Phil Fish is makes me glad I didn't to this very day :)

#228 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

@vacancy said:

I beleave Microsofts costs are due to they feeling that the xbox is a video game console and as such it should ship completed games. Patches I think are to them a failure from the publisher and the high cost of a patch is a kind of find. We might not live in a world any more where games are completed before release like they were on early consoles and perhaps Microsoft should change this. But as a gamer AND a developer I really would want games to be done and working prior to release.

This isn't exactly reasonable either. Bugs happen on any system from the NES 6502 based system to stuff we have now where the major difference today is that a crippling bug in a NES *might* be addressed in a second revision of the game release years later, which doesn't help those who have the old cart, or they push patches out.

As a gamer and software developer you should realize how complex modern systems are where everyone strives to create flawless software but often still miss something due the number of interactions and interfaces between all components. Bugs like these two don't arise because the game is incomplete but because it is complex.

#229 Posted by Mechanized (340 posts) -

Microsoft is a business, and a fucking shrewd one. Take anything they say with a grain of salt. Their comment was completely ambiguous and answered nothing.

#230 Edited by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@JasonR86 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@ Spazmaster666 said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

LOL, nice try but you made it about Vampire : Bloodlines. If we're comparing a current game to a current game because Fez, you know, is current then Steam's free and and quicker patch system is better for everyone involved. Keep trying broski.

I think his point still stands though which is the reason why Microsoft charges for patches is because they have to make sure the patches don't mess up their hardware, the dashboard, or the Xbox Live service. If Steam had to do the same thing for the games it hosts, they would probably charge a fee as well. So comparing free patches on Steam to patches that cost money on XBLA can be a misleading comparison. As to whether or not $40K is a reasonable fee to charge for patches, probably not, but I'm not in a position to judge that since I don't know the costs involved for Microsoft to host, cert, and distribute patches on Xbox Live.

Though I think any argument of who's to blame is pointless since Fish signed the damned contract, which means he has no room to complain.

It's not a misleading comparison.

VALVe has to spend time and money certifying patches. That's why Steam versions of games often differ from their general retail equivalents; because these versions of the games use Steam's DRM (and sometimes have to support other types of DRM at the same time due to publisher demands) and interface with things like Steam Workshop and the social aspects of Steam (achievements, Gift Trading, Steam Community In Game and so on). Then there's another level where Steam offers ATI drivers for download and does regular PC Surveys too, this is part of the whole profiling and cert process which is a core part of the Steam experience. The assumption that VALVe doesn't do any certification is incorrect. They do, of course they do, they just don't make the developer wear all of the burden. Gabe has said time and again that he thinks the best path to success is for Steam to be as convenient as possible for all involved, to be more convenient than piracy and tnat's what it achieves almost every time. Its phenomenal growth rate speaks volumes.

To be frank, Steam's approach to patching is better because it's more timely, less of inconvenience to all involved and yet it deals with a much wider variety of components, systems (Steam is on Windows, Android and Mac OS, with Linux on the horizon) and user demands (there's nothing like Steam Workshop or Gift Trading on Xbox Live).

Phil's complaints are valid. Once the cert process gets in the way of the developer and the customer it no longer serves its purpose. If MS aren't scaling down its price to match smaller endeavours then they really don't support Indie Developers.

Yes, Phil can be (and often is) a loudmouthed dick but that doesn't make his comments automatically invalid. He's a customer of MS, of course he has room to complain. The idea that if you've signed something you shouldn't complain is fallacious. People always have a right to complain and when they can clearly illustrate the reasons why they most certainly should. If his complaining serves to make MS change their cert pricing for smaller concerns (like Indies and Volunteer Organisations and such) then his complaints have done people a service even if MS won't bend on his individual contract.

It's weird that I agree that paying a company to allow you to patch your game but I think Fish saying this about Microsoft is incredibly moronic. I said this earlier but Fish is pretty much biting the hand that feeds. He's not thinking about the big picture. His arguments can be as valid as the sky is blue but that doesn't change the fact that his company's future would be much better off if he didn't call out a big company like Microsoft. It's just bad business.

I think in terms of Fish's behavior, the argument should really be about whether he should have said anything at all, if he knew about these costs before putting the game on XBLA, and whether it is reasonable to not patch the game. The fact of the matter is that the cost for patching the game on XBLA is the cost. It's as simple as that. With those in mind, Fish really shouldn't have said anything publicly, he probably knew the cost of patching the game before putting it on XBLA so he has no room to complain, and I do think it is reasonable to not patch the game because it sounds like the glitches hit a fairly small number of people. The other argument is whether or not that patch-cost is necessary. My guess is no.

Huh? Why do you think his company depends on MS at all? MS didn't feed him, they saw an opportunity in signing Fez and making it exclusive and payed for that opportunity. Indie games like Fez and Super Meat Boy only increased the 360's profile. You're painting MS as some all powerful mafia that people should be afraid to call out. That sounds crazy to me. This culture of 'fear the big business' is something so alien to me as an Australian. We constantly rail against businesses who they do wrong.

It's an odd issue because you're right in most ways. MS shouldn't have this dumb patch cost. It certainly shouldn't be tens of thousands of dollars. But, Polytron works with MS and at the moment the deal is the deal and it won't change. However, this arrangement and the behaviors of both companies will determine future arrangements. If Fish or Polytron continue to call out MS then MS will be less likely to make another deal with Polytron. At least a good deal. They may not think the game is worth the shit that comes with it. You're right, Polytron doesn't need MS to stay in business. They have Steam, Sony, Nintendo, etc. But as a small business why would you want to intentionally hurt the relationship between yourself and a bigger business that can effect your profit margins for the better? It's easier for a company like Valve to call out MS because they have more clout. Polytron doesn't.

Like I said, it's almost irrelevant if Fish is right. Polytron needs to stay a profitable business first. It's a shitty realization because we would all like to say that a small company could hold a big company responsible for their shitty business practices. But that's rarely how things work.

Online
#231 Posted by DarkS2K (33 posts) -

I'm not sure who is at fault here. I'm going to side with Microsoft on this one only because Fish has been a total douche multiple times in the past.

#232 Posted by vacancy (64 posts) -

Microsoft need to think long and hard about what kind of world we are living in in whenever a new console comes out.

I do though understand that they can't treat people/publishers differently in these cases due to "if he gets a candy, I want a candy"-mentality.

#233 Posted by k4el (120 posts) -

@Mechanized said:

Microsoft is a business, and a fucking shrewd one. Take anything they say with a grain of salt. Their comment was completely ambiguous and answered nothing.

MS... Shrewd? You're talking about the company that used the slogan "The new busy" and chose purple as the box color for kinect games then wondered why hardcore gamers didn't adopt it.

#234 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@k4el said:

@Mechanized said:

Microsoft is a business, and a fucking shrewd one. Take anything they say with a grain of salt. Their comment was completely ambiguous and answered nothing.

MS... Shrewd? You're talking about the company that used the slogan "The new busy" and chose purple as the box color for kinect games then wondered why hardcore gamers didn't adopt it.

Not to mention their own internal tendencies to develop six concepts at once, all meant for the same purpose, that are all in competition with one another.

#235 Posted by eccentrix (1614 posts) -

@Peanut said:

Make your dumb fucking game work the first time out. How do devs think this shit worked before you could instantly patch a game?

I agree, games were better when they were static. Back then, if a game didn't work, it was stuck that way for everybody, so you knew you were all in the same boat.

#236 Posted by project343 (2838 posts) -

@Verlin said:

Sounds like Phil Fish might have burned some bridges in the game development community. I don't think his comments were in any way productive. Maybe he doesn't care, though, as an indie developer.

Aside from onlookers, the only relationship hurt here is obviously his with Microsoft. And judging by his tone with the whole matter, I don't think we'll ever see a Fish game released on a Microsoft console.

#237 Posted by PandaBear (1384 posts) -

So I guess Skyrim probably just broke even when you consider all the patches it's had and how much they cost... Obviously I'm joking, but geezus, the cost of releasing a broken game is massive. Take a game like Alpha Protocol... it badly needed patching, but the cost must have made it prohibitive. This attitude is probably why console gamers didn't get that new ending patched in Portal or new free updates for Team Fortress... how shit.

I wonder if Sony charge?

#238 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@PandaBear said:

So I guess Skyrim probably just broke even when you consider all the patches it's had and how much they cost... Obviously I'm joking, but geezus, the cost of releasing a broken game is massive. Take a game like Alpha Protocol... it badly needed patching, but the cost must have made it prohibitive. This attitude is probably why console gamers didn't get that new ending patched in Portal or new free updates for Team Fortress... how shit.

I wonder if Sony charge?

Once again, the first patch on XBL is free. Even if the game is broken as shit, if all of those bugs can be addressed on a single patch, the developer doesn't have to pay a dime.

#239 Posted by KevinK (198 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@k4el said:

@Mechanized said:

Microsoft is a business, and a fucking shrewd one. Take anything they say with a grain of salt. Their comment was completely ambiguous and answered nothing.

MS... Shrewd? You're talking about the company that used the slogan "The new busy" and chose purple as the box color for kinect games then wondered why hardcore gamers didn't adopt it.

Not to mention their own internal tendencies to develop six concepts at once, all meant for the same purpose, that are all in competition with one another.

Yeah, "shrewd" is a silly way to describe Microsoft. Their stock price has been flat the past 12 years, and all of their new businesses have been complete failures - the cost of which is subsidized by their extremely successful businesses (Xbox 360, Windows, Office).

#240 Posted by Declarius (180 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@Dagmar said:

@Eckshale said:

@Brodehouse said:

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

Steam bears no responsibility as to whether your hardware can run a game or not, the game has always worked on all my machines even when unpatched i only grab the patch for the enhancements it brings.

But Microsoft does bear that responsibility. That's the entire point.

HAH! Since when is it Valve's problem if someone buys a game they don't meet the system requirements for. With your example the free patches don't matter because the developer no longer exists. The only reason you can play it AT ALL is because of a fan patch. Why would Valve host a fan patch?

"100% Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP-compatible mouse, keyboard, and drivers"

The information is there, if you didn't read it, it's your problem.

THIS IS THE ENTIRE POINT! Microsoft has a cert process (that costs money) because any game released on XBLA must work with any 360. Steam does not have that commitment/requirement. Hence, XBLA charges for cert and Steam doesn't have it. THIS IS THE ENTIRE POINT. You can buy something on Steam that doesn't work, but Microsoft cannot allow that on their console. If you don't think the 'requirement' is relevant, then by definition, the cost of patching isn't a relevant consideration either (and especially not to consumers). You absolutely cannot have it both ways.

@SeriouslyNow said:

If you had a machine of the recommended specs for Vampire : Bloodlines your comparison would be relevant. Your machine would be the equivalent of an Xbox 360 in that it would be the same fixed platform it was in 2003. You don't, so it isn't. You have a machine well beyond those specs with hardware which is markedly different than what was available and recommended for the game in 2003. You are most certainly cherry picking an impossible to replicate scenario on XBox Live because PCs have changed a whole lot since 2003 and the 360 hasn't effectlvely changed much at all since its release (different motherboards and hard drive sizes sure, but effectively it's still the same system as it was when it launched).

Then there's the whole other aspect where you're trying illustrate a downside when it's really an upside. Troika went out of business and without fan patches like the one you easily procured to 'modernise' the game there would be no simple way to even purchase it were it not for Steam or even patch it if we were left to only one port of call for access as in XBOX Live.

No, actually my entire point is that people are cherrypicking on Steam's behalf; 'patches are free' while ignoring why Microsoft has a cert process that costs money. Which is to say, so a customer doesn't buy something that won't run off the dashboard. Steam doesn't do cert, they don't charge for patches, but they also have things on their store that won't work. You can make this about Vampire if you like, but I also have problems with Hitman. The problem there is "Can't find Steam". Where there is no patch solution and you have to switch from offline back to on and then it loads like normal. But that's the point, if they were released on XBLA, Microsoft would do cert to make sure they work on anyone's 360 regardless of hardware revision. Steam doesn't, and so the patches are free.

I didn't bring up an unfair comparison or cherrypick an advantage, Phil Fish and Brad Muir did. If Rockstar releases a Max Payne 3 patch that bricks a bunch of 360s, now Microsoft has to replace a bunch of borked consoles. If Rockstar releases a Max Payne 3 patch that makes your processor burn into the center of the Earth, Steam doesn't give a shit. Not their problem. But it is Microsoft's problem.

So? I think everyone understands why Microsoft has cert and Valve doesn't, though from your previous posts you seemed to think Valve was somehow at fault for your game not working. People love the PC because it's an open platform, so this thing being painted in a negative light is actually a huge positive to plenty of people. I also think cert is a problem, charging to deploy patches, while I understand why it's there, is not consumer friendly. It doesn't make developers get it "right" the first time, it just makes consumers wait weeks and the developers drop cash to fix things. It may have to be that way on consoles, but it doesn't on PC. In the end, a developer being able to patch a game whenever needed, without worrying about cost benefit, is good for the consumer.

Steam is just a place to buy games. Automatic updates is a feature, they do not run a closed system like Microsoft does.

#241 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Phil Fish just comes off as an asshole. It wasn't a problem for all the other arcade titles.

#242 Posted by Eyz (449 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Phil Fish just comes off as an asshole. It wasn't a problem for all the other arcade titles.

#243 Posted by KevinK (198 posts) -

I must be the only person who likes Phil Fish. He says dumb things sometimes, but I kind of like his swagger and plus in my mind, everything he said about Japanese game development was justified with Fez (bugs notwithstanding).

#244 Edited by Nardak (580 posts) -

According to Polytrons website Fez has sold 100k copies. The game costs 800 Microsoft Points which is about 11 euros.

So far Polytron has earned over 1 million. Of course Microsoft and other interest groups associated with making the game are taking their cut but that should leave you plenty of cash for paying a one time update which would make a certain faction of Fez players pretty happy.

But I guess it is more important for Polytron to take one´s money than care about your customers who bought your product.

#245 Posted by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

*shrug* It seems that it is also important for Microsoft to take their money than care about the customer who bought product. Neither party are on the high ground here.

#246 Edited by Nardak (580 posts) -

Microsoft isnt the developer of the game. They arent resposible for a bug that corrupts your save file.

Polytron and Phil Fish on the other hand are. As others have also said that they signed the deal. They knew what they were agreeing to.

They should have published the game on steam if they were worried about the price of releasing a patch. But then again Phil Fish did state "that PC´s are for spreadsheets". Now it seems that they guy has changed his tune and is planning to release Fez on steam.

#247 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@Nardak said:

According to Polytrons website Fez has sold 100k copies. The game costs 800 Microsoft Points which is about 11 euros.

So far Polytron has earned over 1 million. Of course Microsoft and other interest groups associated with making the game are taking their cut but that should leave you plenty of cash for paying a one time update which would make a certain faction of Fez players pretty happy.

But I guess it is more important for Polytron to take one´s money than care about your customers who bought your product.

It's incorrect to suggest that Fez has earned Polytron $1 million when Microsoft's cut of the profits is not insignificant.

#248 Posted by Nardak (580 posts) -

I think that I implied in my earlier post that Microsoft is taking a cut of the profits:

"Of course Microsoft and other interest groups associated with making the game are taking their cut but that should leave you plenty of cash for paying a one time update which would make a certain faction of Fez players pretty happy."

But dont you think that implying that the profits are insignificant after Microsofts cut isnt also an incorrect statement?

#249 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -
@Nardak

I think that I implied in my earlier post that Microsoft is taking a cut of the profits:

"Of course Microsoft and other interest groups associated with making the game are taking their cut but that should leave you plenty of cash for paying a one time update which would make a certain faction of Fez players pretty happy."

But dont you think that implying that the profits are insignificant after Microsofts cut isnt also an incorrect statement?

I don't know how much they've made. But using the "that's million bucks" argument is absurd.
#250 Posted by Corvak (1172 posts) -

I don't blame Microsoft for the buggy patch - entirely Fish / Polytron's fault. But I do blame MS for levying excessive fees that prevent smaller publishers from economically maintaining their products. In the supposed interest of reducing the number of patches users must download, MS instead promotes leaving buggy code on their service.

I also cut Polytron some slack, as the bug affects 1% of the user base - a number small enough that it's entirely feasible that it got through testing completely unnoticed.

XBLA thrives because it is the only option on the 360 for downloading games - MS holds all the cards and can exert a huge amount of control over its platform.

Between MS and their business practices, and the fact that MS points just cost more in Canada, (1200 points is closer to $20 than $15, and we cannot buy only 1200 points, and have to get 1600) I'm more likely to buy digital games on Steam or PSN. Microsoft knows this, which is why they aggressively pursue exclusive agreements.

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