Microsoft has stopped charging developers to update games on the Xbox 360, according to a report.
Multiple development sources have told Eurogamer that the changes were made earlier this year. Previously, developers were said to have had to pay thousands of dollars to implement patches.
Initial certification charges remain, say the sources, but fees for re-certification when submitting a new game update have now been completely dropped.
The move applies to XBLA and retail titles for Xbox 360.
Despite this however, Microsoft is still able to issue a charge if developers make an “excessive” number of submissions after repeatedly failing the certification process.
Last year, developer Polytron criticised Microsoft for what it deemed as excessive fees blocking a key update for Fez on the Xbox 360, as it could not afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars to do so.
“The save file delete bug only happens to less than a per cent of players,” read a statement.
“It’s a shitty numbers game to be playing for sure, but as a small independent, paying so much money for patches makes no sense at all., especially when you consider the alternative.
“Had Fez been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us. And if there was an issue with that patch, we could have fixed that right away too.”
Microsoft has come under heavy criticism of late for its stance on indie support for the Xbox One. As it stands, developers will not be able to self-publish on the new console, and the company is also set to ditch the Xbox Live Arcade and Indie sections on its digital storefront in favour of a larger, all-inclusive marketplace.
It is not currently clear whether update fees will also be dropped for the Xbox One.
We have reached out to Microsoft for further comment.