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Polytron forced to re-release broken FEZ patch

7/19/12 2:00pm
tl;dr

To make a long story short, Polytron would have to pay Microsoft more money than it can afford to fix the troublesome FEZ patch, so it has no other option but to re-release it.

The save file deletion/corruption bug only effects less than 1% of players but the developers still regret having to release it.

After voicing their frustration, the Polytron team teased that a PC version of the game could potentially launch on Steam after the XBLA exclusivity deal expires.  

As you may already be aware, FEZ has had quite a hard time dealing with technical issues since its release last April. First, there were problems such as frame-rate/loading issues, death loops, and skips, which effected a large number of players. Then developer Polytron started working with Microsoft on a patch that would fix these problems. Then the patch was released and started deleting/corrupting the save files of a small number of players, so the patch had to be removed from the marketplace. So the developers then started work on a patch for that patch, so it could re-release it and help out the players who were negatively effected by it.

However, that patch for the patch will not be developed as planned and the patch will be re-released on XBLA in it’s current ‘broken” state. Why is that? Well, in the words of the folks over at Polytron, “It’s a shitty numbers game.” 

The developer said it would have to pay Microsoft “tens of thousands of dollars’ (according to Giant Bomb it'll be about $40,000) to re-certify the game in order to have the patch developed and released. This would put the developers in a bit of debt, as they already owe Microsoft money for the privilege of releasing the game on XBLA.

Polytron says that while the patch’s bug is an unfortunate problem, it only effect’s less than one percent of players. While the developer said it’s happy that 99% of players will now be able to play FEZ without any hiccups, it issued an apology to the 1% that may loose their saves.

“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.”

The developers also hinted at a possible Steam release once the XBLA exclusivity deal expires, after voicing its regret of not launching on Valve’s PC platform, saying that Valve would have had all of these issues fixed within two weeks and with no extra charge to them.

If everything Polytron said is true, Microsoft is crazy for allowing this to happen (not too mention charging so much to develop patches). Even if only a small number of players are effected, this particular patch shouldn’t be classified as "good enough."

I feel for the Polytron team and I wish them the best of luck on Steam.

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