The Story Behind Fez II’s Cancellation

OK, this one is a tiny bit convoluted, so you’ll have to stick with me. However, for the “too long, didn’t read” crowd, Fez 2 has been cancelled amidst a very public explosion of anger from Phil Fish.

It starts, as almost every little scandal seems to these days, with Microsoft, as they announced this week that they would be allowing self-publishing on the Xbox One. At the stage where this was still without a definitive confirmation from Microsoft themselves, Game Informer were breaking the news with their own reliable sources, and reached out to various indie developers to ask for comments.

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Naturally, a lot of gaming sites and publications wanted to get input from the developer community, and so Jonathan Blow (Braid, The Witness) and Phil Fish got a lot of emails asking for their say. They are quite frankly perfect people to ask for a comment, as both featured in Indie Game: The Movie, had critically acclaimed games in the last couple of years, and have both shunned the Xbox platform for their next titles. At this point things went off the rails a little.

Rather than giving a simple identikit response, posting a quick snippet of their thoughts on twitter or even just taking 20 seconds for a “no comment”, both took to twitter, complaining that they were being bombarded by journalists asking for comment on what was at that point still without confirmation.

jonblow

The news did turn out to be valid, but this public snubbing of the press riled games journalist Marcus Beer to the extent that he had a go at both Blow and Fish on yesterday’s Game Trailers video podcast, before spiralling into a lengthy twitter spat, in which Phil Fish at one point told Marcus Beer to kill himself. [Although, as commented below, this seems to be a Futurama reference, in amidst the vitriolic responses – Tef]

Sadly there is no happy ending to this. Fish clearly felt hurt by Beer’s comments, and all of these people are very much in the public eye, and subject to the levels of abuse that the internet can throw at people, where Phil Fish in particular is not a well liked person. As Jonathan Blow tweeted in the last hour:

So, in what seems to be a reaction to the events of the last few days, Phil Fish has set his twitter account to private, and Polytron have posted the following statement on their site:

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.

It’s entirely plausible that in a few weeks he may decide to return to the game, and we certainly hope so for fans of the first title, but for now there is no Fez 2. Until then, there is no Fez 2, and it sounds like Phil Fish is done with making games completely.

Via NeoGAF, Twitter (1,2), Game Trailers.

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28 Comments

  1. This is just ridiculous.

  2. A real shame if this does turn out to be the case? :(
    However, sometimes you read stuff from certain news sites & it makes you think about 1, their integrity & 2, they’re as bad as the UK tabloids!
    Luckily, you guys have respect for the devs, both big & small, one of many reasons we keep coming here for accurate news in this industry.

  3. What a shame :/ Jonathan Blow’s tweets was fair enough.

    I quite like Fish, sure he is often very vocal, but he has the right to have opinions, like everybody else. To bad some people like to twist his opinions in a negative light, like the Japan incident.

    Beer is normally alight, but sometime he makes some statements, which doesn’t seem thought out and he has to pull them back later, with an apology. This seems like one of those cases.

  4. I guess you could say that: “Beer battered Fish”.
    Sorry.
    I have no sympathy for Phil though. The guy’s arrogance knows no bounds.

    • Haha, nice pun.

      Agree with you about Phil Fish. Sure, he takes a lot of heat from press due to being a prominent indie, though an equal measure of them laud him.

      Acting like a complete moron. Goading journos on Twitter is one thing but to turn your back on your fans and cancel a game is ridiculous.

      • assuming this isn’t a pr stunt.

    • Lol!

    • There’s got to be a blowfish joke in there somewhere???

      • Yes, Beer was using it in a derogatory fashion during his rant.

  5. “told Marcus Beer to kill himself”

    Or, you know, he quoted Futurama.
    http://www.gotfuturama.com/Multimedia/EpisodeSounds/2ACV03/05.mp3

    Not defending the rest of his bullshit, but in my opinion that was clearly not meant to be taken literally.

    • If someone told me to go kill myself I doubt I’d be thinking it must be a reference to a cartoon.

      • And if I told you to eat my shorts you’d just think me a depraved sexual pervert, I’m sure.

      • I assume you’re referring to Bart Simpson. I know that, because not many people say “eat my shorts”.

        Which makes your point moot.

      • Ah, good catch there, Phizzy.

        I don’t think “eat my shorts” is quite the same level. It’s a catch phrase, like Bender’s “Bite my shiny metal ass!”

        So much of what Bender says is mildly inflammatory, but also a one off, and I’m sure 95% wouldn’t have made that connection off the top of their heads.

  6. Right, i ‘get’ who Blow is, as well as Fish..but who’s Beer in all of this?

    Besides all this talk of Blow, Fish and Beer, plus it all kicking off, big time, sounds like your average Sat.night here in the Westcountry….just missing the chips being knocked out of some twats hands that started it all in the 1st place.

    I’ll get me coat.

    • Sorry, Beer is a games journalist, and in this case part of the Invisible Walls podcast team, where he vented at Blow and Fish.

      • Beer consistently states that he is not a games journalist despite portraying himself as one on all the various shows he appears on. He’s a “PR” guru who seems to spend as much time apologising as he does spouting out. He is essentially a male Katie Hopkins who spouts out crap for money following the age old mantra that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

  7. What a pathetic turn of events.

  8. Well if he has made his money and wants a quiet life then good for him. I would still like a Fez 2 though.

  9. I wouldn’t consider either of those guys indie anymore anyways. Sure, they’re independent, but after a certain amount of recognition you automatically become pro. Which is obvious by the prima donna attitude they just displayed and the idea of “cashin’ out”

  10. I bet he changes his mind on Fez 2, I don’t know how far aloong in production it is but it must have aready cost a certain amount of money which would now be wasted

    • That’s what i thought. And i doubt he can retire from the takings of one game release.

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