Fez creator blames Microsoft for patch issues, Microsoft responds

The development of Fez, the much-hyped and long-awaited puzzle/platformer from from Phil Fish, was wrought with drama. Although the game is now out, the drama continues with its creator making some rather controversial decisions and statements regarding fixes for the technically flawed release.

Fez developer Phil Fish

Fez has been plagued with a number of issue since launch, and although it has seen a single patch, the update fixed some issues and introduced new ones. The patch was subsequently pulled, but a post on developer Polytron’s blog reveals that the patch is being reinstated in place of another update– and the reason is money. Fish said in a blog post (since removed) another patch would cost the developer “tens of thousands of dollars” in Microsoft certification fees.

“The save file delete bug only happens to less than a percent of players. It’s a shitty numbers game to be playing for sure, but as a small independent, paying so much money for patches makes NO SENSE AT ALL. Especially when you consider the alternative. [...]To the less-than-1% who are getting screwed, we sincerely apologize. We know this hurts you the most, because you’re the ones who put the most times into the game. And this breaks our hearts. We hope you dont think back on your time spent in FEZ as a total waste.”

Microsoft has since responded, disputing that fees are the core problem behind another patch being issued.

“Polytron and their investor, Trapdoor, made the decision not to work on an additional title update for FEZ. Microsoft Studios chose to support this decision based on the belief that Polytron/Trapdoor were in the best position to determine what the acceptable quality level is for their game.

While we do not disclose the cost of Title Updates, we did offer to work with Trapdoor to make sure that wasn’t a blocking issue.

We remain huge fans of Fez.”

Anyone who has seen Indie Game: The Movie knows that Fish is prone to speaking his mind, so the truth likely falls somewhere in the middle, but either way, the real losers in this scenario end up being those who purchased the game.

This may not be the end of the Fez on XBLA story, and the game is likely headed to other platforms with Fish stating on Twitter, “but HEY! only a few months left to our XBLA exclusivity!”

Source: Giant Bomb (1, 2) – Joystiq