The nature of the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and PlayStation Network just got a little scarier for the gaming world. In speaking with Hookshot, Tim Schafer revealed how much it costs to patch a game on home consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Before we get to the quote, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. Tim Schafer refers to patching software, as in applying an update to a game after its launch. This isn’t the addition of DLC, this is the act of forcing an update for online users.
Here’s Schafer’s quote, as per Hookshot:
“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!”
Schafer goes on to note more open networks and independent platforms.
“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.”
While it’s understandable that Microsoft and Sony would want to charge a little money for the support involved in uploading and hosting game patches, the whole idea of charging around $40,000 to do so seems a little absurd. That price, as Schafer indicates, is practically backbreaking for small independent studios looking to take advantage of large scale digital distribution.
Moving forward, it’s obvious that smaller studios love more open platforms than those restricted by red tape and hurdles of cost. While the costs associated with getting content on Steam and distributing it to gamers wasn’t revealed, it’s obviously much more affordable than what’s being offered on home consoles.
Frankly, we’re stunned by the $40,000 figure.