Microsoft’s Milton Waddams moment

rsz_milton

Office Space is without a doubt the greatest cult comedy of all time, and it’s also just top tier satire. Stephen Root and his character Milton Waddams is - as any fan will recall - the central running gag throughout the entire picture. Perhaps the most hilarious instance of Milton and his hapless ill fortune occurs without his knowledge about halfway through the film: One of the upper-management “Bobs” that is visiting the offices of Initech discovers that Waddams was terminated more than a year ago, but Waddams was never informed of this, and continues to receive his paycheck in the mail. After he mentions this to Gary Cole in the role of the legendary Bill Lumbergh, it is decided to just quietly adjust the error and let Waddams figure it out when he stops getting paid.

In essence, judging by the reactions of people like Fez developer Phil Fish,

this is what Microsoft, the company that originally inspired the mockery that was Initech, did with developers of Xbox Live Arcade games.

Earlier today, Microsoft provided a full briefing to Eurogamer on the policy change that they seemingly just now realized might matter quite a lot to the creative minds of XBLA: Patch fees, the exact amount of which seems to vary depending on one’s source, but are known to number in the tens of thousands of dollars, will no longer be assessed to Xbox 360 XBLA content producers. This change took effect back in April. Fish is an example of a guy who has produced few or no full patches for his product because of the pain these fees have inflicted, and now he seems to be upset that almost three months have passed where he would have been able to plan on working without this burden.

Per Eurogamer, Fish also noted later on that “You have no idea how much trouble I got into for talking about this,” so it would appear that we have a PR firestorm in the works in addition to the literally comedic case of forgetful neglect. By the way, no news on how this affects XBLA and Xbox One: Microsoft gave Eurogamer the cold shoulder.

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