Though the sequel to Polytron’s indie hit Fez was only announced last month, it’s already been cancelled. The cancellation wasn’t due financial problems, or any other usual suspects; Fez II was cancelled because its creator, Phil Fish, believes he is under constant, unfair bombardment from critics—most recently GameTrailers’ AnnoyedGamer, Marcus Beer. The official statement on Polytron’s website reads:
Similar statements were made by Fish from his Twitter account, which is now locked to anyone not already following him. A large screencap of Fish’s tweets can be found here (NSFW language). Another tweet from the official Polytron Twitter account confirms this news, adding “we apologize for the disappointment.”
Though this news came shortly after this week’s episode of Invisible Walls, Fish’s statements suggest his decision was not the result of the episode alone.
Beer attacked both Phil Fish and Braid‘s Jonathan Blow (referring to the two combined as “BlowFish”) on Invisible Walls, referring to Fish specifically as a “hipster,” “tosspot,” “wanker,” and finally a “fucking asshole.” Beer’s comments referred to Fish’s attitude in general toward press inquiries for his opinions about goings-on in the industry, most recently his views on Microsoft’s policies for indie developers looking to develop for Xbox One. Fish had been getting annoyed with constant press attention, and his tendency to vent in public forums led Beer to target him on Invisible Walls.
Finally, the cancellation of Fez II is more than simply an end to the sequel, it’s apparently Fish’s letter of resignation from the industry.
“To be clear, im not cancelling FEZ II because some boorish fuck said something stupid,” Fish later tweeted. “im doing it to get out of games. and im getting out of games because i choose not to put up with this abuse anymore.”
Whether you agree with either Fish or Beer (or neither of them), it seems like this whole situation is a case of two people being overly harsh toward one another, and a promising game cancelled due to an inflated ego being damaged. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail, and Fez II can avoid its untimely fate in spite of this latest drama.