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.
. @PHIL_FISH Thanks for telling me to go kill myself. I will be at PAX if you want to talk on cam?
— Marcus Beer (@AnnoyedGamer) July 27, 2013
"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.