Phil Fish is one half of Polytron and the outspoken developer behind Fez, a highly acclaimed puzzle platformer released on the Xbox 360 and PC last year. During this year’s E3 Expo, Fish announced that he had begun work on a sequel, Fez II. But over the weekend, things between Fish and the gaming public turned ugly and he has canceled Fez II. In fact, Fish has decided to get out of game development completely. In a statement on Polytron’s webiste, he wrote:
FEZ II is cancelled. i am done. i take the money and i 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.
The dustup started after Marcus Beer, the “Annoyed Gamer,” tore into Fish on the latest episode of Invisible Walls, his show on Game Trailers. Beer was angry at Fish for refusing to comment on Microsoft’s recent Xbox One policy change allowing indie developers to self-publish their games on the system. Actually, describing Beer’s tirade as “angry” might be underselling it. It was much closer to verbal abuse.
Fish, quoting a line said by Bender on Futurama, told Beer (via Twitter) to kill himself and promptly canceled Fez II. Phil Fish has endured a lot of criticism from gamers over the years. Some of it is fair and some of it isn’t. But it looks like his battle with Beer was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Unless Fish changes his mind and tries to play the whole thing off as a PR stunt.