The games industry had a rare Saturday explosion following a dust up between Fez creator Phil Phis and Game Trailers TV personality Marcus Beer. This was apparently the last straw for the eccentric and vocal game developer who canceled Fez 2 and then announced he was giving up game development altogether.
During an episode of Invisible Walls, Beer called out Fish along with Braid creator Jonathan Blow for their lack of response to the then rumor that Microsoft was going to allow indie developers to self-publish on the Xbox One. Beer referred to them both in a derogatory way by collectively calling them “BlowFish” before later calling them “hipsters,” “tosspots” and then “f***ing ***holes.”
Fish, known for this volatile personality, didn’t take kindly to Beer’s comments on Twitter he called Beer a “middle-aged parasite” before using the Futurama quote, “compare your life to mine and then kill yourself.”
Afterwards, both Fish and the studio Polytron announced that Fez 2 was canceled. Fish’s explanation for why the game was canceled then revealed his exit from games industry.
“to be clear, i’m not cancelling FEZ II because some boorish f*** said something stupid, i’m doing it to get out of games,” [sic] he wrote behind his now locked Twitter account.
“i’m getting out of games because i choose not to put up with this abuse anymore.” [sic]
The stress of game development has always been at the core of Fish’s apparent angst. In a 2011 Gamasutra interview prior to Fez‘s release, he admitted, “I’m burnt out, period. Like literally I’ve been in burn out for years now. Like I’m always a little bit sick, I’m always a little bit depressed, I’ve lost interest in everything, and I’m always tired. It’s horrible! It really sucks!
“You know, I’m in very poor health these days; I’m completely out of shape. I feel like I’m going to have to basically kind of rebuild my life, because everything has just gone to s***. Other than Fez, I’ve had to neglect every aspect of my life to get this game done.”
This stress and depression continued well past the release of the game in April 2012 on the Xbox 360 as he fought with Microsoft over the release of the game as well as the cost of deploying patches through Xbox LIVE. The company has since reversed that policy but Fish swore off developing for the console or its successor, the Xbox One, again. Now he’s sworn off developing games, period.
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