Fez 2 Cancelled, Phil Fish leaves the game industry

After a Twitter controversy Phil Fish has cancelled FEZ 2 and announced he is leaving the industry. Phil Fish is no stranger to controversy and making people very angry. I don’t think I need to add fuel to the fire by going over all the things he has done or been accused of, I am sure most of you know about them as well as I. This one requires a bit of a story.

Fish has been very critical of Microsoft recently, for various reasons. One of the major problems was the lack of self-publishing on the Xbox One, which Microsoft recently changed their mind on. When rumors were popping up of Microsoft doing this Game Informer ran an article talking about indie developers and asking their thoughts. Both Phil Fish and Jon Blow declined to comment. Most people would think nothing of this, after all it was a rumor at the time and both men are very busy working on their upcoming games.

Game “journalist” Marcus Beer is not “most people” however. The “Annoyed Gamer” went off on Fish and Blow in an episode of GameTrailer’s Invisible Walls, attacking them for not giving GI any comment. He called them “BlowFish”. There was other things Beer said, but it is hard to find a site actually reporting both sides of the story. Either way,  Beer was insulted that both men were snubbing the gaming press and calling for all media outlets that the two “dismissed” to boycott coverage of their games.

I can’t blame anyone for being angry about Beer’s statements. Fish took to Twitter to give his response. Fish has since set his Twitter to private but sites got the quotes.

The thing with us “tosspots” “hipsters” is that we’re not beholden to media leeches like you. And you’re right. we’re VERY successful. and we’re not going anywhere. Get used to it you middle-aged parasite. Compare your life to mine and then kill yourself.

Now, before we get too far I will point out that the last part of his Tweet is in fact a quote from Futurama. Even saying that, given the tone of his response and Fish’s usual attitude it is no surprise that people took it seriously and responded in kind. At some point he pointed out that he was waiting for it to be official before giving anyone any statements. Fish went on to demand that Beer publicly apologize to him and made the following statements

“how would you react tot his kind of shit if you were me.” “consider it’s been going on for years now. you’d take the high road? im being attacked CONSTANTLY. and i can’t fight back? ever? yeah that seems fair.”

“there’s not a day that goes by i don’t fantasize about leaving it. but that would only make you happy, right? i don’t want to have to get off twitter,” “i love twitter. but it also invites SO MUCH UGLINESS into my life.”

Now, none of that is really that bad. Fish has been attacked quite often and quite harshly. Even with Fish’s attitude and ego issues he doesn’t deserve all the attacks he gets, especially with how bad some of them get. I will not say he needed to “suck it up” or anything like that, however I have to ask why he didn’t leave Twitter if it was that bad. He said he thought about it many times and the stress it was causing had to interfere with his work. Well, we know for a fact it interfered with his work because he cancelled Fez II a little later.

i’m done. FEZ II is canceled. goodbye.

The Polytron Twitter account later confirmed it and Phil Fish then went on to say he was leaving the game industry entirely. To dispel rumors quickly piling up Fish made the following statement

to be clear, im not cancelling FEZ II because some boorish fuck said something stupid, im doing it to get out of games. and im getting out of games because i choose not to put up with this abuse anymore.

This was posted on the Polytron website

FEZ II is cancelled.
i am done.
i take the money and i run.
this is as much as i can stomach.
this is isn’t the result of any one thing, but the end of a long, bloody campaign.

you win.

The whole situation is a complete disaster. It’s not helped by all the websites I’m reading only covering Phil Fish’s statements and glossing over Marcus Beer’s comments making it very hard to get the full story. Beer’s comments were clearly intended to make Fish and Blow angry and it all exploded into a very unfortunate situation.

Both of these men need to apologize to each other and well, I won’t go into my thoughts on GameTrailer’s role in this or the state of game “journalism”. It’s just enough to say that this caused the end of a promising career. Whatever Phil Fish does now I hope he can find help for his anger issues and that he finds something else to make him happy. Twitter is obviously not at fault here, but it seems a lot of people can’t handle posting on there without ruining their careers.

Sources: Examiner, Escapist, Destructiod, Polytron