Opinion: Good riddance, Phil Fish

phil fish

Did you guys see that Phil Fish fiasco this week? Oh man, it was glorious. Fish whined about something, someone else called him a wanker and the Twitter war was AWN.

I love that Twitter has become some kind of unbridled celebrity battleground – I can just imagine Justin Bieber blowing his hair out of his eyes and swearing at all the “haters”. We all devolve into keyboard warriors when faced with internet trolls, and it’s hilarious that celebrities do so as well without their publicists around to filter them.

Not that Phil Fish has a publicist. Does he? I’m not sure, but he probably has a few dead prostitutes in the boot of his car. Let’s just get this out of the way before we even begin – Phil Fish is a dick.

Look, I’m sure it’s really hard being harassed by gamer trolls every day and running out of space under your bed for all your bags of money. However, what Phil Fish essentially did this week was look his fan collective dead in the eye and piss on their shoes.

Some journalist spoke crap about him and he decided to take his ball and go home. Which is hilarious, since Phil Fish basically spends most of his time in the media spotlight talking shit about everyone else.

So instead of punishing the trolls who hate you and your games, you punish the fans who love what you do. Way to go, Phil. Asshole.

What really annoyed me was Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski writing a “heartfelt” open letter in response, begging Phil to come back. Seeing someone like that scampering after him makes me feel ill. If you see a kid kicking and screaming and throwing a tantrum, you don’t buy him an ice cream. Come on, Cliff. We’re acting like this guy is one of the giants of the industry; like without Fez 2 we might as well Gumtree our consoles and find a new hobby. No. Pandering to this kind of behaviour is not something we should be doing.

"Awww, don't cry. Here, have an open letter."
“Awww, don’t cry. Here, have an open letter.”

The truth is, Phil Fish deserved the hate. He acted like an arrogant, egotistical prima donna and only reinforced that image when he “cancelled” Fez 2. I say “cancelled” because I’d be really surprised if he doesn’t get over himself and stop crying. Children always do.

I don’t know how many people work at Polytron, but I’m assuming it’s more than zero. Those people will all be out of a job, but does Phil Fish give a damn? Nope. Does he care about the fans who were so looking forward to his next game? Nope. Does he care about anyone but himself?


I was going to link a video here of Phil Fish’s famous “Japanese games suck” incident, but sometime today the video was taken down, and I can’t seem to find another one. You have to wonder if it doesn’t have something to do with his latest blowup. Instead, here’s another picture of Phil:

crying baby 2

To give you the gist of it, a Japanese man (identifying himself as a freelance indie developer) who clearly struggles with English gets up to ask Phil a question at GDC 2012. Does anyone even consider how hard it was for that guy to ask a question in such a public space? Twenty seconds in to the video I’m already pissed because you can see the guy behind him rolling his eyes. The guy basically compliments Fish, and tells him how proud he felt that Fish was inspired by Japanese games. He then goes on to ask what recent Japanese games he drew inspiration from.

Phil response is “nothing, Japanese games suck”, and he goes on mocking him and dismissing him and his development culture, while the crowd laughs and his shitty developer friends laugh as well. He publicly ridicules one of his biggest fans, and the guy’s feelings are clearly hurt. After insulting Japanese games and developers for five minutes, they sum them up as “a joyless husk”.

It amazes me that gamers, and game developers, a traditionally marginalised group of people, can so openly bully someone like that. Because make no mistake – that was bullying. It was a cruel, shitty thing to do. It makes me uncomfortable to watch it, and it makes me really angry as well.

The world does not need Fez 2 enough that we need someone in the industry like Phil Fish. I love a villain, I really do – the gaming industry wouldn’t quite be the same without people like Bobby Kotick or companies like EA; evil corporates we can all love to hate.

But Phil Fish isn’t a villain. He’s a petty, self-centered and mean-spirited man who we’d be better off without.

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