In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Fez creator and head of Polytron, Phil Fish, is leaving the gaming industry and cancelling Fez II along with his career.
The departure seemed to have come out of nowhere on Sunday when Fish posted an announcement on Polytron’s site stating, “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. You win.”
For Fish, the stresses and pressure of game development got the better of him and decided enough was enough. Others claim it was due to recent comments made by Marcus Beers at GameTrailers.com, when Fish and his partner, Jonathan Blow, refused to offer comment to Game Informer on the Xbox One allowing self-published titles on Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA). I don’t quite believe this as Fish has taken criticism from the media before for outspoken statements made about the current Japanese gaming industry and even refusing to fix a bug in Fez.
While I don’t agree with some of his statements or even how he’s dealt with this situation it seems like all of the criticism, not just Beers criticism, has built up and he’s had enough. Beers’s comment is really just one of many that have led to Fish’s departure. The game industry is stressful enough with the long hours and immense dedication needed to complete the game. Leaving for those reasons doesn’t sound the least bit far-fetched.
Also, Blow made it clear why the two didn’t make statements about Xbox One allowing self-publishing for indie games. At the time it was an unfounded rumor and the refused to offer information they didn’t know much about. Not a terrible reason at all to hold your tongue.
It’s unclear how long Fez II has been in development, but it has only, disappointedly, lasted a month past being announced.
Whether you liked Phil Fish or not, it is disappointing to see both a talented developer and what could have been an equally awesome sequel go due to industry stresses.