Microsoft has a significant hold on the PC marketplace, and continued its hold on the console side as developers were forced to pay for frequent re-certification in order to provide updates, or “patches”, for their own software on the system. A lot of independent developers spoke out over the mistreatment of their licenses, and even Tim Schafer broke the news on Hookshot in February of 2012 that:
(On the XBOX Live and Playstation Network) “…it seems that this year, the idea didn’t explode like it should have. Back when Castle Crashers came out, it seemed it was going to grow and grow. I just wish there was more support, more marketing, more placement on the dashboard. It could have been our own little Sundance Film festival, a great sandbox for indie development.
But the indie community is now moving elsewhere; we’re figuring out how to fund and distribute games ourselves, and we’re getting more control over them. 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, and doing it completely alone like Minecraft. That’s where people are going.”
With price gouging being the norm for Microsoft’s business practices, it seems as though they have lightened up over the thought. Perhaps this may be the dawning of a new dimension for the corporation? I think not.
Concurrent to the upcoming release of next-generation consoles, no one is absolutely certain when support will stop for the old systems who have run a 7+ year life span. If anyone has ever called technical support, just getting a Windows XP CD sent to your home once cost $100 alone, and that doesn’t even include the charge they offered to make me for making a call or asking technical questions. The technician on the other end only said that she was able to provide certain types of information, but any technical questions answered would cost me an arm and a leg… figuratively, not literally.
Larry Hyrb, also known as MajorNelson on Twitter, gave us some “insight” into Microsoft’s next move for their stance on patches on the XBOX 360 by saying:
“FYI for those asking: Microsoft eliminated fees for Title Updates on Xbox 360 Arcade games in April 2013”
That’s akin to saying, “Hey, remember when we sodomized you with prices? Haha! Just kidding.”