Microsoft has announced the removal of developer fees for those looking to patch their title on the Xbox 360, something that has previously cause a stir among the developing community with titles like Phil Fish's Fez or Valve's Team Fortress 2 opting to not patch their game due to the fees.
According to reports from multiple development sources, Eurogamer
has revealed the breaking news that Microsoft had quietly made the policy change earlier this year after "charging developers tens of thousands of dollars to patch their games."
Microsoft has always charged a fee when developers first submit their games to Microsoft's certification process so they can be approved for release, and the company normally grants developers one title update free of charge. This remains the case, but sources have told Eurogamer that subsequent re-certification as a result of a title update is now free. This applies to Xbox Live Arcade games and full retail games.
There is one caveat though, that if a developer is deemed to be making an excessive number of re-submissions due to an update failing certification, for example, Microsoft reserves the right to issue a charge.
Microsoft first introduced the paid-for patching system to ensure that when a title was released on the Xbox 360 system it was as top notch as possible, ensuring quality was kept in check.
One thing is for sure, many eyes have now turned to Microsoft's upcoming next-gen console, due in November for $599, in hopes that it will offer a more open system compared to the Xbox 360.