A sore point for game developers hoping to release their games on the Xbox 360 always has been the high cost of entry and maintenance involved. Microsoft requires rigorous certification to make sure every piece of software released on their system is up to technical par and won’t break anything, and they charge steep fees to developers who need to get their games certified for release on the 360. In addition to that high entry barrier, there also have been huge monetary fees attached to post-release updates for games already in the Xbox 360 Arcade’s marketplace. Title update fees have cost developers thousands of dollars for one-time tweaks and bug fixes, and this arrangement has been counterproductive for folks who’ve wanted to fix errors in their released games but haven’t been able to pay the dues.
Buzz has been swirling this week that Microsoft was about to remove those pesky title update fees, but Xbox Live’s Major Nelson tweeted yesterday that the fees already are a thing of the past and have been gone since April. As a big and negative point of discussion among indie developers, this piece of news seems like something beneficial Microsoft could have announced in the midst of all their negative Xbox One PR, but it somehow slid under the public’s radar until now. The end result for consumers should be more frequent and faster bug fixes for games, as well as a general increase in the polish and quality of games in the Xbox Live Arcade.