Developers no longer have to worry about spending five figures on Title Update fees for Arcade games released on Xbox 360. The policy of charging a fee for these updates was eliminated in April 2013, according to a statement provided by the company to Digital Trends.
“Microsoft eliminated fees for Title Updates on Xbox 360 Arcade games in April 2013,” the statement reads. “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.”
Microsoft’s Title Update policies were the focus of some controversy in 2012 when Fez creator Phil Fish came forward to deride the excessive cost – “tens of thousands of dollars,” he wrote – of issuing a patch for his game. An initial post-release patch for Fez fixed a number of minor issues, but it also corrupted the saved games for a small number of players. A patch for the patch was never issued, due to the cost.
Fish took to Twitter when the rumored policy change came to light, writing, “I will get in touch with [Microsoft] and see if their new policy is retro-active.”
News of the policy change surfaced earlier today when Eurogamer cited “multiple development sources” as stating that Microsoft was no longer charging for for Xbox 360 Title Updates. The above statement specifically points to Xbox Live Arcade games now being exempt from update fees, though the original report also suggested that full retail games are included as well.
The Eurogamer story also went into additional detail on the sorts of circumstances that could lead to an update fee being charged, though Microsoft didn’t offer any comment on those specifics. Also unaddressed is the question of whether or not the policy change will carry over to Xbox One Arcade titles when the new console is released later this year.