Twitter Blowup Leads To Sudden Cancellation Of Fez II

Polytron, the studio behind the indie hit Fez, announced over its official Twitter that development on Fez II has been cancelled. It appears to be related to a very heated Twitter argument between Polytron founder Phil Fish and an Internet personality who sharply criticised him today.

Marcus Beer, who editorialises under the "Annoyed Gamer" brand on GameTrailers, tore into Fish on that site's most recent "Invisible Walls" panel discussion. Beer's complaint with Fish centered, in his view, around Fish's unwillingness to comment on Microsoft's newest policies regarding independent development on Xbox One.

Beer, in a three minute rant at the beginning of this broadcast, called Fish and indie developer Jonathan Blow "self-styled kings of the indie genre" and said the pair — whom he called "Blowfish" were "bitching and moaning" about a reasonable media request for their reaction to a significant industry development, in essence accusing them of tolerating publicity when it presented them in a favourable light but dismissing the press if it didn't serve their promotional needs.

"Don't get f**king snicky about it," Beer said. "Me, I think the both of you are a pair of tosspots."

He went further:

"Have you seen these wankers bitch and moan — Phil Fish in particular," Beer said. When a panelist offered that Fish seemed "whiny," Beer interrupted, "Whiny? He's a fucking arsehole most of the time."

Early this afternoon over Twitter, Fish raged at Beer, demanding for an on-camera apology and explaining that the reason he gave no comment on indie publishing on Xbox One is because he was "waiting for actual info to drop before commenting."

As the argument progressed, Fish at one point told Beer to compare his life with Fish's and then "kill yourself," a Tweet since deleted, but referenced by Beer in this reply.

"I f**king hate this industry," Fish later Tweeted, saying the ugliness of facing non-stop criticism and nastiness had caused him to think repeatedly, about leaving the business for good.

Finally, an hour ago, Fish tweeted "im done, FEZ II is cancelled. goodbye." Fish then set his Twitter account to a protected status, locking out any who weren't previously following him. Polytron repeated the same statement moments later.

Kotaku reached out to Fish to inquire if he was serious about the cancellation of Fez II. "yup. it's just not worth it anymore." He replied.

Fez II, announced last month, was in development for PC but not for Xbox consoles; Fish alluded to unhappy experiences with Microsoft over the publishing and patching of Fez as a reason why.

Kotaku has reached out to Marcus Beer for his reaction to this situation as well. Any comment he provides will be updated here.


    Oh? I didn't even know Fez II existed but to find out about it through its cancellation is :(

    "Blowfish" cop a lot of flak but since I've never met them, it seems unfair to completely hate on them like most other people do. Bottom line is they both make great games that I enjoyed, so I appreciate them for that.

    Hopefully this sorts itself out, but it's his game and he can do whatever he wants, but we'd love a Fez II!

    How old are these people... 13??

    Throwing tantrums on a public forum and telling people to "kill yourself" just reminds me way to much of early highschool.

    If you work in the public eye you'd have to expect to be labelled with names you don't like but this is an entirely inappropriate way to react.

      True, but Phil Fish is a complete asshole and has been from day 1. He's earned his harsh criticism, to be frank.

      "Suck my dick. Choke on it."

      -Phil Fish, after winning grand prize at the IGF

        Yeah, I am in no way a fan of Fish. This little tanty will probably get him an outpouring of support from fans who want to see Fez 2, but I wish it were just ignored.

    He is right, this industry is ugly and disgusting. The loudest gamers bash you for all sorts of absurd reasons. Game journalists hand out undeserved 9/10s to developers that bring them advertisement paychecks and exclusive early content, on the flip-side calling game artists who they have no 'deals' with pedophiles because they find their art style distasteful.

    Video games brought about a cesspool, which is filled with the worst people on this planet. This industry and global community of gamers are the bottom of the barrel, there is nothing below them.

      No - statements like this are exactly why people like Fish come off as the raging assholes they are. If you think 'Gamers' are bad and that the 'Gaming industry' is so broken, you need to take a good, long hard look at where your priorities are in life. Video games are part of the entertainment industry - it's part business, part art. The problem is when people get so deeply cut over the business side and through a lack of understanding how the media works, they get buried under the weight of their own bullshit... then have the gall to claim that their 'art' isn't appreciated.

      If you want to be a starving artist, be a starving artist and ignore the media.

      If you want to be a star developer, learn to deal with the media, or eat crow like every other nose-diving celebrity.

      People are just people.Some of them are jerks, some of them are heroes, most of them are complicated and bounce between the two extremes.

      Gaming culture may sometimes seem worse, possibly because a lot of it happens on the Internet where it's archived and accessible forever, but there's enough hate, rage and entitlement out in the real world to go around. TAY posts here and events like PAX should be enough to convince you that there's a lot of good in gaming too.

      Yeah once you get to a certain in ANY industry you WILL find people like that. I feel bad that we may have lost a good game. I also don't like people getting picked on but this bloke Phil Fish has never been nice or a good person. So it is no surprise.

      You're right, there are some pretty nasty people in the video game industry. Phil Fish is one of them.

    I wish I could quit my job tomorrow because one of my customers said disparaging comments about my food, but I can't because I need to pay rent.

    It seems so immature to me that someone would just throw their source of income away because they have their feelings hurt, does he not understand that this is his Job? He seems like such a child, not only from this but also the various disparaging comments he has made over his short career. He doesn't take this seriously and get upset when people extend that same attitude towards him.

    It's too bad though, Fez was actually pretty great, hopefully Phil can grow up a little bit and get a sequel out one day.

      He has to learn to take the criticism. If you make a game, you're going to have people hate on it. If you be an arsehole to everybody, you're going to have everybody hate you.

      I agree that he is acting childish. If he could Just learn to take the heat and stop being such a massive dick to everyone, I'm sure he would having a more pleasant experience in the industry.

        The fact he has consistently and predictably acted like a dick every opportunity he gets hasn't helped his image either. There are thousands of indie developers out there, but the majority of them don't act like he does, and they don't attract this kind of reaction as a result. Fish has nobody to blame but himself.

    This is sad, and i'm sure many thousands of fans are sorry to see him act like such an indie developer and throw tantrums like these, again.

    Hahah oh man. Hates toxic elements of the industry. Tells journalist to go kill himself. Excellent self awareness there.

      I think calling that guy a journalist is a bit generous.

        Hah yeah, that did occur to me as I was writing it. Just had a coffee, feeling generous.

        Exactly, Marcus Beer is a self-aggrandising blowhard. I occasionally watch Annoyed Gamer hoping to see something of substance and there never is.

    Honestly, both sides of the fence here are being tools. It's too easy these days for people with some real personality issues to become representative of the media or of the games industry.

    I was annoyed a couple of weeks ago at Fish's hubris, entitlement, whining and what-not over MS removing the fee to update games on Xbox, and while it's usually sad to see a meltdown... I found this pretty amusing. (And this summary of it!)

    People with a public image, something they need to market or a name they make money off have less freedom of speech than some random guy walking down the street because of the additional scrutiny they put themselves under.

    He opened his reddit Ask Me Anything a while ago by saying "I'm the guy who says stupid things, and I make games!" and now it's come back to bite him; first with media commentators criticising him and then this rant which, joke or not, reflects very poorly in a professional sense. I'm glad Fez made a lot of money and he has a comfortable life, but he needs to grow up if he expects anyone to take him seriously.

    Last edited 28/07/13 9:07 am

    Phil Fish thinks every problem in Phil Fish's life is caused by everyone but Phil Fish.
    Phil Fish.

      Phil Fish seems like such a huge whiny loser in those tweets. Hard to feel bad for him. An adult who can't take criticism in a creative industry is ridiculous!

        you'll find that only a small proportion of people in the gaming industry are truly creative. The rest just follow orders.

    I'm no fan of Phil Fish, but Marcus Beer it an utter twat. The next time I see him not being an arrogant dick about something will be the first. They have so much in common, you'd think they'd be close on some level.

    If that's all it took to end Fez II's development, no big loss. I think Phil Fish has yet to realise it's fine to have an opinion on something, but you don't have to be a dick about it when presenting it. Then he gets sad for copping all the shit that he does. Sure, the internet loves to blow shit out of proportion and react disproportionately - it's what it does. But - you're an adult who spends a lot of time here and should realise this, as well as realise that coming across like an asshole, shock horror - makes people think you're an asshole.

    Fez was a fantastic game, who's only publicity issues were caused solely by the guy developing it. It's sad we've apparently lost Fez II, but if we lose Phil Fish for it - might be a fair trade.

      As far as I'm concerned, no price is too high to rid the industry of Phil Fish.

    And nothing of value was lost.

    I don't think I'd bother talking to "annoyed gamer" either if this is how he reacts. Seriously, what he posts gamer "rants" on the Internet and then runs around pretending he's a journalist like he's got something important to say. That angry jo is another one. So desperate for attention.

    Looks like a valuable cautionary tale for indis - When you rely on the good will of your community as much as indi game devs do, you cannot afford to be a prima donna, no matter how popular your game might be. You're not a big faceless corporation who can buy peoples interest with several million dollars worth of marketing. You need folks to like or at least respect you enough to spread the word on your game.

      One of the main reasons Phil gets so much shit is because he started acting like a prima donna and dishing shit out before his game had even been released. I found it hard to take the guy seriously when he came across like some sort of indie god and his came hadn't even come out.

      Look at guys like Jon Blow and Ed McMillen. Ed's about as humble as they come, and sure Jon Blow is a little bit odd, but he's not an ass like Phil.

        There's tons of other people in the indie space that are really talented and have interesting things to say, but Phil Fish is much better for getting website hits because he's so acidic, so he gets the bulk of the interest. Maybe if he's not around any more we'll see some more Indies in the media that aren't so trollish.

        Not to mention we won't have Fez 2 taking all the indie games awards for years on the trot again and that'll be nice too.

    Hopefully fish will go forever, the man is total outspoken douch bag. Just look at some of the things hes said.

    That's why they're 'indie' developers not 'professional' developers. Absolute amateur.

    Wait, someone demanded an answer from someone else who wasn't prepared to give it, then he attacks him for not doing it?

    You know, we used to get angry at camera men shoving their cameras into peoples faces and refusing to leave them alone.

    Who is Beer to criticize Fish for not offering an opinion on something? Beer comes off as someone who just wants to antagonize Fish in order to draw attention to himself and drive traffic to his content.

    Regardless of how you feel about Fish, this entirely seems to be Beer's fault for being a complete jerk. If Gametrailers had any integrity they'd ditch Beer for being so unprofessional.

    I think what makes the gaming industry so 'dirty' is its so tied to Internet comments as its chosen communication medium. Anyone with a computer, net connection & an opinion can build themselves an online personality by making a lot of noise.
    I'm sure any industry that listened to semi anonymous comments about themselves would hear all the acidic nasty venom that people can dish out

    Easy answer - don't read the comments

    Everyone calling Fish out for being childish, think about how angry you would be if someone called you out and humiliated you publicly.

      I'd feel the same. But he's supposed to be a professional, and an adult. He doesn't act like one.

      If Fish stopped giving people a reason to call him out, he wouldn't get called out as much. You don't get to charge forward being a douchebag in front of a huge audience and then cry foul when other people fire back at you. I mentioned above, there are thousands of indie developers out there, but Fish is one of the few where this kind of thing happens.

      So yes, he is being childish, because he invited this environment on himself by the way he treated others publicly. You don't poke a bear unless you're ready for a fight, and if you lose that fight, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

      I think a lot of the criticism in that video (which was also stupid) comes on the back of years of Fish calling people (generally and individually) brainless retards, shitfaces, complaining that video game journalism and major companies like Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft have ruined the game industry and so on — it just seems like he can't take what he dishes out.

      "Time for my morning toenail-clipping and scrotal rinse. Jeeves, bring me the latest Internets to peruse, while my cabana boy does his vital work. Let us see who has been mentioning my good name. Oh, I say! Some brigand has slandered my good name? Who is this knave? 'Annoyed Gamer', eh? Why, by his moniker, I'd venture this cur makes a living in libel! I'll pay this ratbag no mind. Computer person thing: fetch me examples of my justly-deserved praise. Something recent, if you would be so kind, I am almost beginning to tire of re-reading old compliments."

    Good, that means we won't be subjected to years of Phil acting like an asshole everywhere while constantly winning cash prizes for years for his game that hadn't even come out.

    What I don't understand is people singling Jonathan Blow out as well. He's a bit outspoken and maybe comes across as a bit snobby at times, but a lot of the time he's pretty insightful and I've never seen him acting like an outright dickwad like Phil.

      Jon Blow seems really quite intelligent and on the money with most of his observations about game design and the industry. He has an unusual way of speaking and has some interesting ideas too, could be taken the wrong way. At least he doesn't act like a spoilt brat. I've watched a few of the lengthier interviews available with him and Ed McMillen respectively, and both guys are really quite switched on and down to earth.

      I think Jon Blow threw people off a little by responding directly to comments about his game for a while there. He wasn't trying to be a dick either, I don't think - just wanted to clear things up and give his side of the story. Although as far as the internet goes, that's probably not a good idea as shit can get away from you pretty quick. Done with best intentions though, I believe.

      Yeah, this one I don't get. I've never seen anything by him that I thought was outright offensive. He's a bit elitist, sure, but I completely respect him and his opinion, even if I don't always agree with it 100%

      I saw him years ago when he was here in Melbourne for Freeplay. I loved his presentation, the amount of thought he put into his games and the industry, and the care he took in answering and chatting with people afterwards. I have a lot of respect for him.

      Last edited 28/07/13 1:53 pm

      Yep. Fish can be a prick sometimes, but Jon Blow always seems like a decent bloke. He's incredibly interesting and knows how to convey a message intelligently without coming across like a dick. He's always great with giantbomb on their e3 live shows (pretty sure they're archived on twitch and youtube); the recent one with him and Cliff Bleszinski was insightful and quite humourous, considering their difference in personalities, but he was always polite in letting others speak. The Marcus guy comes across as an absolute prick calling him a 'tosspot' and other obscenities - will add him to my ignore list.

    I really don't see why people have such a huge problem with Phil Fish. Nothing I've seen or read about/from him makes him seem like the contemptible arsehole everyone seems to insist that he is. This Beer guy on the other hand...

      Do some research on Phil Fish and some of his comments/actions. You won't have to look very hard, I promise.

        I have seen most of them. And it's still led me to where I am now - he just seems like a real intense guy who doesn't have much of a "filter" or whatever. Unless maybe I'm just missing the really bad ones. What's he done that's so utterly horrible?

          I don't think he's done anything 'horrible', he just repeatedly comes off like a self entitled, antagonistic child who throws a tantrum whenever someone pulls him up on it, or dishes some crap back to him. He acts like an ass, gets treated like an ass, and can't seem to grasp why. Most people are just jack of him and his attitude, that's all.

          Sure the guy's intelligent, and obviously talented - it's just it means nothing when you can't be civil to people and constantly alienate your fans and peers.

            Maybe I'm just too much of an arsehole myself to be able to see it in the same light as everyone else :P

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