Following a heated argument on Twitter with writer Marcus Beer, indie game developer Phil Fish announced that he was “done” with game development and that he was cancelling Fez 2.
The argument originally started when Beer criticized and personally attacked Fish and Braid developer Jonathan Blow on Game Trailers TV’s Invisible Walls show. Beer called on media outlets to boycott Fish and Blow’s upcoming games because of their supposed confrontational attitude towards certain members of the gaming press.
Fish fired back on Twitter, telling Beer that “The thing with us “tosspots” “hipsters” is that we’re not beholden to media leeches like you.” Fish later continued, “”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.” The argument on Twitter eventually ended with Fish declaring “I’m done. Fez 2 is canceled. Goodbye.”
Fish’s declaration was then echoed on the official Polytron Corporation Twitter feed. Fish personally confirmed with a number of outlets that the game is indeed cancelled. Fish didn’t go into the specifics of why the game was cancelled and has made his Twitter account private as of this morning.
It’s currently unknown how far along in development Fez 2 was: the game was never shown publicly, though Fish did mention he was interested in bringing the game to every platform he could, with the exception of the Xbox One. The original Fez was delayed multiple times before it finally came out; the game was originally announced in 2007 and wasn’t released until 2012.
Marcus Beer, the writer who started this whole argument, has invited Fish to publicly debate him at the next PAX convetion. “The invite is there. If you want to talk & prove me wrong, happy to do so,” Beer tweeted. “I also said you were hugely respected. You don’t help with the way you communicate. You alienate people, myself included.”
I loved the original Fez; even with all the game breaking bugs, I still think that the game was impeccable designed and wonderfully innovative. With that said, I’m not a particularly huge fan of the game’s creator: Fish has always been quick to viciously criticize other peoples’ work, but he’s routinely demonstrated an inability to cope maturely with an criticisms sent his way, so his meltdown today comes off as somewhat hypocritical. With that said, Beer’s original attack on Fish wasn’t particularly professional or mature either, but Fish’s reaction to it was definitely a bit overblown. So you could say that is a case of me being a fan of the art but not the artist: I’m really sad that the Fez sequel has been cancelled, but I’m having a hard time drumming up any sympathy for Fish either, even if he didn’t start all this drama.
Of course, Fish isn’t above trying to troll the entire internet, so there is a small chance that this could just be a stunt. But he seems sincere this time, so for now at least, I’m inclined to believe him when he says he’s done with Fez 2. Perhaps he’ll rethink his decision later after he calms down a bit.