Update: Microsoft drops patching fees

It was announced on 27 June 2013 that Microsoft no longer charges developers to patch their Xbox 360 games.


Beyond the cost, restrictions imposed by Microsoft and Sony prevent the consoles from getting frequent DunDef updates.

The Costs

Tim Shafer, the mind behind Psychonauts—and hopefully Psychonauts 2!—revealed in an interview with Hookshot Inc. that it costs $40,000 to patch a console game:

"Those systems as great as they are, they’re still closed. You have to jump through a lot of hoops, even for important stuff like patching and supporting your game. Those are things we really want to do, but we can’t do it on these systems. I mean, it costs $40,000 to put up a patch – we can’t afford that! Open systems like Steam, that allow us to set our own prices, that’s where it’s at...."

After this price was posted on the Trendy forums, Trendy's Jeremy Stieglitz replied:

Hehe yep, though it "only" costs us $10,000 to patch a Downloadable Game, at least :P

But Wait, There's More!

This is in addition to the strict requirements for patches and DLC imposed by Microsoft and Sony. These have been described as a "train wreck" by Gabe Newell of Valve. Trendy was more civil when they discussed it on the Trendy forums:

Q. Why is the PC-only DLC/features not coming to Console?

A. This is for a variety of technical and business reasons including patch size limitations and patch stacking requirements, as well as the massive restructuring of the current console game that would have to take place, the QA processes necessary to prepare those changes for submission, and the opportunity cost of pursuing other projects.

Q. What is the difference between patching on Consoles and PC?

A. There are two key differences between patching on consoles and patching on PC: approval processes and platform-restrictions. The former forces content to be finished well in advance of their release on console. The latter includes restrictions such as patch size (4mb on XBLA, unless you’re granted an exception), content, etc. For example, XBLA patches stack, so it would require anyone who downloads Dungeon Defenders to immediately download all of the subsequent patches on launch. So, even if we were allowed to update console like we have on PC, anyone who downloaded Dungeon Defenders today would immediately have to download multiple gigabytes of content via a series of updates, before actually launching the game.


So the next time you see some barely legible ALL-CAPS whining from a Console Kid who is used to getting candy when he cries in the checkout aisle, feel free to link this. Here's the code:

[ Blame Microsoft and Sony]