Earlier today, rumors were swirling that Microsoft had eliminated patch fees on the Xbox 360. A tweet from Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten confirms that some titles are now exempt from additional update costs.
The patch fee has been removed for Xbox Live Arcade titles according to Whitten's tweet. The issue of update costs has been a hefty one for some developers, with Tim Schafer of Double Fine stating that it costs approximately $40,000 to patch a game. Additionally, Phil Fish, developer of Fez,decided not to re-patch a game after his first update (which had been free under the old policy) caused unforeseen problems.
We have reached out to Microsoft to find out if retail titles are affected and how this impacts Xbox One development.
We have received a statement from a Microsoft representative on the matter. "Microsoft eliminated fees for Title Updates on Xbox 360 Arcade games in April 2013," he told us. "We’re constantly evaluating our policies and implementing feedback. While our development policies are confidential, and will remain so, we’re pleased to say that this is just one of many ongoing changes and improvements we’ve made to ensure Xbox is the best place possible for developers and gamers."