And really, that headline says it all: there will be no sequel to Fez and no more misguided quotes and notorious behaviour from the game’s developer Phil Fish. That being said, that hot-headed Phil Fish behaviour has played an integral part in his bowing out from the gaming scene for good.
Phil Fish has definitely made his fair share of industry faux pas since his rise to prominent indie figure through Fez. His most notorious one was when he told Japanese game developer Makoto Goto that Japanese games “just suck”; this happened after Goto asked a question to a panel of indie developers including the guys from Team Meat and Jonathan Blow of Braid fame. That earned Fish a lot of negative press, and that sort of negative press has obviously taken its toll on Fish’s outlook.
The cancelation of Fez 2 happened on Twitter – the new home of all online breakdowns, implosions and career suicides. Fish had gotten into an argument with Game Trailer’s Marcus Beer over the most recent episode of “Invisible Walls”. Early into the videocast , Beer begins his rant about how Phil Fish and Jonathan Blow snubbed press requests for their opinions on Microsoft’s recent reveal of self-publishing for the Xbox One. According to Beer, both Fish and Blow decided “to bitch and moan” about the request for opinion. In response to that, Beer called them “tosspots”, “fucking hipsters” and “wankers”.
That obviously led to a huge Twitter argument between Beer and Fish. The culmination of that argument was Fish throwing in the towel: “I’m done. Fez 2 is canceled. Goodbye .”
That Tweet was soon followed up by the following from Polytron, Fish’s development company:
It’s with a heavy heart that we announce that FEZ II has been cancelled and is no longer in development. We apologize for the disappointment
— Polytron (@Polytron) July 27, 2013
Website Polygon reached out to Fish for clarification on the matter; they received the following email response directly from Phil Fish:
“Fez 2 is cancelled. I am done. I take the money and I run. This is as much as I can stomach. This isn’t the result of any one thing, but the end of a long, bloody campaign. You win.”
While Fish has not come out and explicitly said that this argument between himself and Beer was responsible, the timing seems to suggest that it was the final nail in the coffin.