It costs HOW MUCH to patch a console game?

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Schafer

Double Fine’s Tim Schafer’s been pretty forthcoming lately, possibly because he’s swimming in all that Kickstarter money. 

According to Schafer – the guy who brought you Full Throttle, Psychonauts and Brütal Legend – it costs a heck of a lot of money  to patch a console game post-release.

In an interview with Hookshot, the grizzly-faced game designer says it costs $40 000 to release a patch on modern consoles – presumably the PS3 and Xbox 360.

"Those systems as great as they are, they’re still closed", Schafer said. "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."

I can only assume that he factors in the cost of development and the use of human resources in that figure – because if not it’s a wonder that console games get patched at all.  sure, 40K is but a trifle of the $20 million it costs to make the average AAA game these days, but you’d imagine that if it did cost such a sum, developers might be more inclined to y’know, release games that actually worked.

Last Updated: February 14, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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