Did Phil Fish Just Angrily Cancel Fez 2 Via Twitter?


UPDATE: We should note that in no way are we taking anyone’s side in this matter. Personally, I hope that this is a temporary setback, and that Fez 2 gets back on track.

UPDATE: Joystiq obtained a comment from Phil confirming the news. “It’s true,” he told them.


There we were enjoying our Saturday morning. Then, Fez creator Phil “Phish” Fish and GameTrailers host Marcus “AnnoyedGamer” Beer decided to get into a pissing match on Twitter.

The culmination of said pissing match is that Phil Fish sort of ragequit from Twitter, and apparently canceled Fez 2 (yeah, right…)

Here’s a short timeline of what happened:

1. Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would allow indie developers to self-publish. Game Informer broke the story, which Microsoft was apparently none too pleased about. While we’re on that, can you kind of see why? If you’re Microsoft, do you really want to have to hurriedly explain yet another feature you weren’t prepared to talk about? Don’t misunderstand, I rather like Game Informer, and they were doing their job. I’d have done the same thing. Just saying, I think you can understand why MS wouldn’t want to start explaining themselves, again.

2. Anyway, in response to this news, some gaming outlets decided to reach out to both Braid creator Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish, to basically ask what they thought. Both Blow and Fish, referred to by Beer as “BlowFish” (which, excellent) have published their rather successful indie titles on Xbox Live, so they’d be good to ask, right?

3. Fish in particular didn’t want to talk about it.

4. Marcus Beer called out Phil Fish pretty hard on this GameTrailers podcast. It’s an hour-long podcast, but the goods are right at the beginning. Beer has some very strong words for both Fish and Blow.

5. Phil Fish got very upset, ragequit on Twitter and then apparently canceled Fez 2.

I recommend that everyone involved read Jim Sterling’s take on this right here, as he’s a smart guy and he’s basically recommending that cooler heads prevail. Despite what anyone thinks of Beer or Fish, I don’t think anyone wants to see a potentially cool game get canceled in response to a Twitter fight (god even typing that is making me wince with how dumb it is).

Here, we took some screenshots of Phil Fish’s stupid Twitter account. You can follow the meltdown for yourself. But I recommend instead you go see The Wolverine, or something.

Below timeline in reverse chronological order.

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39 Comments on Did Phil Fish Just Angrily Cancel Fez 2 Via Twitter?

Aedelric

On July 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Never played Fez, it never interested me.

That said a game cancelled due to a silly argument on twitter seems to border on the absurd. Either way the game is better off cancelled, if it was a game he was passionate about he would not cancel on a whim and we have far too many passionless games these days.

SweetPea

On July 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Hahaha, this is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. And nice screenshot names :D

Trem

On July 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Phil Fish never really strike me as a guy that I like. He’s having a meltdown over something like this? Welp, cya, goodbye and take your diva attitude away from here.

Welp

On July 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm

So he is taking his ball and going home?

Anonymous

On July 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Best news I’ve heard all week.

Jonny

On July 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Ok – this is disappointing. In the wake of the awful twitter attacks directed at the Activision employee over the Black Ops rebalancing we’ve seen gamers getting slagged off in the press because we’re all tarred with the same brush.

And now we see a successful developer acting like this on Twitter. I don’t care what has been said about you, you don’t respond like this. Some of his comments are disgraceful and what you’d expect to hear from a 10 year old COD play on XBL (and that’s insulting to the 10 year olds).

I hope Fez is cancelled… I know that I won’t be buying anything made by Phil Fish again.

I want this industry to grow up, mostly because the minority of gamers are obnoxious, but they’re sadly the vocal majority. Phil Fish and others need to set better examples. If he’s going to tell a critic to kill himself, use racist (limey ) language and the oh-so-mature term “butthurt” then he has no right to be offended when the same language is flung at him.

In conclusion, everyone involved in this is awful, but I’m disappointed in Fish most of all. I expected better.

RyanHuggins

On July 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I was present when most of this went down (on Twitter haha). It’s pretty stupid overall, but at the same time, journalists shouldn’t be calling developers names and developers shouldn’t be called journalists names or telling them to kill themselves.

All in all, I personally think it’s partially an issue of entitlement on both fronts. This happened because some dude got mad because developers wouldn’t comment on some stories and insulted Phil and Blow because of it. Phil got mad. Escalate.

Turd Ferguson

On July 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm

And nothing of value was lost.

Axetwin

On July 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Publicity stunt through and through. I mean, for gods sake he is using Andy Kaufman has his twitter profile picture, that alone should tell you everything you need to know about this.

Preop

On July 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I think it’s highly likely that Phil Fish using Andy Kaufman for an avatar during this whole twitter dialogue is no accident. If unintentional, then the relevant irony just deliciously flew over the heads of everyone involved.

bob

On July 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm

nice how you miss bits in the conversation line dumb op

Fanny Farts

On July 27, 2013 at 2:53 pm

If this is a publicity stunt, it’s desperate. If it’s real, it’s pathetic. Either way it’s yet another example of why this industry won’t be considered on par with other art or even entertainment forms by the mainstream for ages yet. When David Cage is genuinely seen by journalists as some sort of prodigy of mature videogame storytelling then we might as well just call it a day and go back to playing SNES.

I’m ashamed to be a videogame lover when I see stupid crap like this take place. Shame on Fish most of all, what a childish egotist.

Shinta

On July 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm

It’s missing a key point about most journalism and how they cherry pick tweets and insult them later.

This is all Phil Fish said and got insults thrown at him: http://i.imgur.com/6kmNzl7.png

It’s no different than what Inaba from Platinum Games has stated about as well:

https://twitter.com/PG_inaba/status/329892161703256064
https://twitter.com/PG_inaba/status/329892211791650816
https://twitter.com/PG_inaba/status/329892251931119616

And Marcus Beer saying on twitter that he was boycotting Kamiya’s games because of comments here:

http://www.gamefront.com/bayonetta-creator-kotaku-scuffle-over-pc-gaming-comments/
https://twitter.com/PG_inaba/status/329892296210391040

Adam

On July 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Phil Fish has mental illnesses brought on by nearly 7 years of internet abuse since he first showcased FEZ. You idiots do not realize what you have done to him. Why would you verbally assault someone with depression? How would you expect him to react? He spent 5 years of his life putting everything he had into making his game, for this? If you don’t like the game, say ‘I didn’t like it’. Don’t go out and put hate on the developer! I thoroughly enjoyed the game as a puzzle/platformer with great music, outstanding game-play and innovation. He put all he had into his work, and people reject him because they have nothing better to do… you just pour out on to someone who doesn’t deserve it, because he can’t hurt you. Well, you have ing hurt him. I hope you are happy that you are responsible for what you have done. Rethink your priorities in life, I’m being deadly serious.

Koroma

On July 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Jesus so many fez haters.

Ares

On July 27, 2013 at 8:03 pm

So some stupid twitter argument ends up with the sequel of a game being cancelled. By someone I never heard of before.

Ok back to things that actually matter.

michael

On July 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Bravo Phil you did the right thing(not in a bad way). You create something nobody has seen since the SNES days and they begin talking garbage out of there mouth about what they have been misinformed with without getting the true story out of it. I believe that the gaming industry does not deserve Indies such as yourself to create games that they wouldn’t dare to create. I believe that once money interferes with what you love to do you begin hating it. These ideas should be only shared with those close to you to enjoy. I learned this lesson along time ago. I believe the backlash from your fans will be affect gametrailers and Marcus for this cancellation. I believe its better off letting gamers keep on playing there Call of Duty, Mario, Halo and God of War games until the industry collapses in on itself. Then, maybe then everyone will wise up. So go on a long vacation visit the world and come back when you feel its the right time. That’s what I would do.

phil's best friend

On July 27, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Phil fish is the cris chan of indie game devs

Thanatos

On July 27, 2013 at 11:13 pm

This is why I’ll never pay this man a dime. Who cares what games he’s made.

Mike

On July 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

All I’ve got from this is not to support the xb1.

g

On July 28, 2013 at 5:03 am

YESSSS

Kuma

On July 28, 2013 at 5:19 am

Good ridance. He brought this onto himself. Asshat.

Esc

On July 28, 2013 at 5:26 am

What a little baby. Someone with this attitude has no place anywhere public. The only way I can see this loathsome developing games is if he’s kept in a dungeon with a computer and never given any way to communicate with the public.

But that wouldn’t feed his thirst for attention, of course.

Masterman

On July 28, 2013 at 6:08 am

“Despite what anyone thinks of Beer or Fish, I don’t think anyone wants to see a potentially cool game get canceled in response to a Twitter fight (god even typing that is making me wince with how dumb it is). ”

I do, Fish has been a twit and him becoming a homeless beggar is justice served. Gives the message to devs that they better learn to respect the gamers or they will be horded out of the industry.

JohnDoe

On July 28, 2013 at 9:05 am

At first it saddened me that a videogame got cancelled because some stupid internet discussion
Then I saw how stupid is Phil Fish and became happy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYpMxMPZ-Mk

Seriously, PF is a manchildren and a moron.

Eran

On July 28, 2013 at 9:07 am

I cant even blame him because we’ve all been there in a game that we try really hard to win only to have a person on your team who only wants to give you a lose do nothing but call you names all game.
He tries really hard at what he does, he didnt want to comment on something he didn’t know enough about and all the useless commentator could defend himself with was “I know i’m an , but i’m ok with that.”
Thats just the same as having someone on the air for only the excuse of getting him to say crude things with the intent of getting people to notice your station. They truly are scum and real life trolls. I feel for the guy who made this game almost entirely by himself while dealing with a partner who ripped him off and took non stop flak for minor things, like delays and whatnot.
Were his reactions extreme? Yes.
Do I believe these guys only did this to get an easy reaction out of him? Hell yeah, and that makes them garbage.

Jep

On July 28, 2013 at 9:44 am

Jeez, how many times can you guys spell the man’s name wrong?

Uncle Junior

On July 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Adam’s comment may be one of the dumbest I’ve ever read.

CM

On July 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm

If you don’t want abuse, here is a tip: don’t be an insufferable douche ALL THE TIME.

quicktooth

On July 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Wait, so semi-coherent adolescent rambling and abusing is also done by adults?? So all those YouTube comments and forum posts aren’t only by nasty self-entitled kids, on a power trip because they’re anonymous and no one can find them to give them a well-deserved punch in the face? Humanity, just when I find something to give me more faith in you, you pull sh!t like this… I’m going back to Shadowrun. Oh Harebrained Schemes, you really are the masters of the RPG… :)

Jay

On July 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I’m finding it hard to believe your claim you’re not taking sides when you take pointless swipes at the spelling of Fish’s name and refer to it as his “stupid” Twitter account. Personally, I haven’t had to deal with people mocking *my* last name since about 6th grade, which should give you some indication as to how your overview comes across.

Not taking sides myself, but I have seen reported elsewhere that he states this was more a “final straw” than the *reason* he cancelled the game.

Anyway, the thing about indies is having such a 1:1 interaction with your audience can be a blessing and a curse. A part of the audience hurls the same abuse at indies as they would at EA, not realizing they’re dealing with an entirely different animal. Indies are personally invested, so it surprising they take it personally? Some people can’t take it. Was his response justified? Dunno. But I can see how the kind of abuse indies in general get (not just him) can break some people.

p.s. @CM in the comments here: I’m sorry, developers who are exceedingly tolerant get abuse, too. I know some.

Meli

On July 29, 2013 at 6:42 pm

As he stated, he was waiting for it to officially be reported before commenting. Then this moron Annoyed-something-or-other slandered him online yet people want to blame PF for this?!

Nomadski

On July 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

No need for anyone to comment on this atrocious so called journalist who used his platform to launch a hideous vile campaign of hate against a games developer?

Is this what professional journalism has become?

We are so deep in the cesspool the internet has created, we have forgotten what boundaries used to exist between people.

While Fish’s manner may have rubbed some up the wrong way, he did nothing before this public character assassination that deserved the total lack of respect and professional courtesy thrown his way by this pathetic excuse for a member of the media.

Gametrailers needs to get rid of this hack, and we all need to look up words like manners, respect, tolerance and common decency to find out what they mean again.

Poor You

On July 30, 2013 at 2:36 am

@Nomadski: Gametrailers? Was that supposed to be some sort of joke to teach Burnham a lesson for misspelling Fish so many times? Or are you really that confused? I’m picking the latter since you seen to believe Phil Fish to be some kind of victim, clearly having not read the tweets. Fish embarrassed himself, he embarrassed his company, and he embarrassed the videogames industry. Don’t shoot the messenger just because you don’t like the message. Also, demanding respect from someone you call a hack and can’t even name the website he writes for, I doubt he’ll be losing any sleep over that somehow.

Obvious troll is obvious.

Ron Whitaker

On July 30, 2013 at 5:44 am

@Nomadski: I certainly won’t defend Beer’s comments. No member of the game development community owes us a quote on anything. We certainly ask for them, but if they don’t comment, then that’s what we report.

At the same time, there’s no defending Fish’s actions either. He hasn’t done himself any favors by his combativeness on social media.

Neither side in this debacle was “right.” If it hadn’t been for the fact that Fez 2 got cancelled out of the deal, it wouldn’t even have been news.

Mark Burnham

On July 30, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Chiming in here to say:
I know how to spell Phil Fish. Truthfully, when I was writing the story I initially had a couple typos in it, and when editing I decided to leave them in, because it seemed to fit with my general mood of not being able to take the entire slap-fight very seriously. It seemed fitting, at the time.

I’ve since fixed the typos for clarity, and honestly I’ve since become pretty saddened by this entire story. I don’t think anyone is winning here. Gamers won’t get the chance to play a potentially cool game, Phil Fish (say what you want, a very talented guy) has quit game development it seems after feeling overly criticized, we saw some really toxic negativity between Fish/Beer, and I don’t really know what to make of it.

Jezzerat

On July 30, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Both sides are being horrible, spoiled, entitled, whiny babies and need to grow the hell up.

Predbites

On July 31, 2013 at 1:33 am

Whether you like this guy or the way he acts, This is nothing more that horrifically bullying.

Beer threatened and verbally attacked him on camera then continued to do so on twitter until he refused to work in this industry anymore.

-__-

On December 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Looking back at this, I think twitter just brings out the worst in people. Fish didn’t need to prove anything, so if he just kept silent in knowing so, he would have come out on top in the end.