Jeremy Chai Staff Writer
Phil Fish, creator of the critically acclaimed retro 3D-swivel platformer Fez, and subject of lauded movie Indie Game: The Movie, has left the video game industry. That’s right, not taken a leave of absence, but gone. Forever. It also means Fez 2, which was currently in development by Polytron, has been cancelled.
The initial announcement came from Fish’s twitter account where, according to IGN, he tweeted: "I’m done. FEZ II is cancelled. Goodbye”. This was followed by his studio, Polytron, making the official statement. “It’s with a heavy heart that we announce that FEZ II has been cancelled and is no longer in development. We apologize for the disappointment.”
It’s true that the developer is quite a bit outspoken, and he doesn’t hold his words back. Phil Fish has been receiving backlash from gamers about his comments regarding Japanese games (as well as some particularly strong words I may not use here about gamers themselves) according to an article with Venture Beat via IGN. In a way, much of the negative feelings for him are his own fault. A lot of his tweets are him fighting with other Twitter users.
Apparently this has come about not from one thing, but the long and arduous process through the world of the video game market itself – the abuse he has received from the internet, the trouble through which he had to go through to make the original Fez a reality, all of it. According to Games Industry he said, "This is isn’t the result of any one thing, but the end of a long, bloody campaign. You win."
I’m skeptical about this, considering that Fish announced the cancellation of Fez 2 not long after an episode of Invisible Walls on Game Trailers (via Games Industry), where podcaster Marcus Beer utterly smeared Fish’s name all over the floor after Fish and fellow indie game developer, Jonathan Blow, declined to comment on Microsoft possibly allowing self-publishing the Xbox One. Trust me, it was brutal.
Regardless, Fish claims that he’s leaving not because of Beer’s comments, but because he simply wants to get out of games.
After watching the independent film, Indie Game: The Movie, which chronicles Fish’s difficult journey to get Fez published, him quitting seems understandable. I highly recommend the documentary, as it is very, very good, and very informative, even for non-gamers.
Fish`s last words on Polytron`s website were:
"Fez 2 is cancelled.
I am done.
I take the money and 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.
It’s sad, really. Fez is a great game and Fez 2 would have been great, as well. Take it as you will, despite the fact that Mr. Fish has been coined a “drama queen” by the internet, he did make very good games.