If you were one of the gamers affected by the save file delete bug included in the last update for indie game Fez, Microsoft would like to let you know that you don't matter. This is the message from developer Polytron, which is preparing to relaunch a patch containing a known bug, because otherwise the publisher would charge "tens of thousands of dollars" to get the game re-certified.
Microsoft gave us a choice: either pay a ton of money to re-certify the game and issue a new patch (which for all we know could introduce new issues, for which we’d need yet another costly patch), or simply put the patch back online. They looked into it, and the issue happens so rarely that they still consider the patch to be “good enough”.
Fish explains that - from what the team at Polytron have seen - the save file corruption issue primarily affected gamers who had completed (or almost completed) the game. New games were not affected, and gamers who had only played a small chunk were also unbothered. Polytron officially believes the current patch is safe, for "an overwhelming majority of players".
And really, the patch does do a lot of good things: It fixes framerate dramas, loading, skips, death loops, and a bunch of other assorted issues that have been in the game since launch. Fish acknowledges that it's not fair to keep this fix away from the 99% of people who it could help.
To the less-than-1% who are getting screwed, we sincerely apologize. We know this hurts you the most, because you’re the ones who put the most times into the game. And this breaks our hearts. We hope you dont think back on your time spent in FEZ as a total waste.
Fish also mentions, quietly, that had Polytron decided not to go with Xbox 360 exclusivity (something the team reportedly still owes Microsoft "a LOT of money" for), and instead put the game on Steam, the issues with Fez would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to the developer. And had there been an issue with the patch? That would have been fixed straight away, as well. Lesson learned.