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. Pretty much every Microsoft rumour recently has turned out to be true so i don’t think it was that unreasonable for journo’s to contact them for a comment.

    • but also as members of an industry that I would hope they care about and have opinions about is it really that surprising that people might want to get an opinion from you?

      I think both sides are massively childish in this and neither comes off well. Although my personal prejudice is that Fish is massive numpty…

  2. funny how fish was eager to comment on ms policies when he blamed them for him not patching Fez, now the press goes to him to get a comment on this issue that affects indie devs, which he is, so asking him is pretty damn appropriate.
    and he gets all pissy about it.

    Marcus Beer calls him out on it, made it a little too personal, that’s true, but what he said other than that was right.

    fish would have been be relying on the very same press he criticised when Fez 2 would have launched, though i still think it will and this is some lame pr stunt to get more publicity.
    well it’s got people talking about him and the game so it’s not that lame.

    the gaming media isn’t his private pr firm, existing just to do what he wants.

    then fish tells him Beer to kill himself, i don’t think the fact it’s an obscure Futurama quote lets him off the hook.

    right after the COD devs getting death threats.

    if those kind of comments are unacceptable from the community, then they can’t be acceptable from developers either.

  3. In my experience, indie devs are usually either the most humble people you will ever meet, or self-righteous egomaniacs who have a shit fit every time someone does something they don’t like.
    I understand that the internet isn’t always a pleasant place to be, but this just seems like a major overreaction and a real slap in the face to his fans.

  4. I understand it must be very hard when you are a one or two man team to be critiqued since you really put your heart and soul into a game. However blowing up just because you were asked for a comment on something? Having seen Indie Game the movie quite a few of the devs dont paint themselves in the best light (apart from Edmund McMillen so seems a very nice guy).

  5. I’ve always found Fish to be a vile, self centered twat (he is such a fucktard in that Indie game movie) so no great loss.

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