Giant Bomb News


So, Fez II

Some stuff happened over the weekend.

Fez II is no longer in active development, according to developer Polytron and its designer, Phil Fish. That’s the word from Fish, who dropped his mic this weekend.

“FEZ II is cancelled,” said Fish in a statement on Polytron’s website. "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 the record, I don’t believe him, even though I’ve “confirmed” the news with Fish myself over email. I suspect we will, at some point, see (and play) the sequel to Fez, but this weekend’s events provide an opportunity for Fish to leave the spotlight and protect his sanity from the world and, well, himself. Fish speaks too passionately about games to leave them behind. That isn’t some subtle hint, either. It’s my gut feeling.

But how did we get here? It begins with the latest episode of Invisible Walls, a Game Trailers podcast, featuring a lengthy rant from Marcus Beer, a longtime member of the industry now commentating under the named “Annoyed Gamer.” The podcast was discussing the recent turn of events regarding Xbox One self-publishing, and how both Fish and Braid designer Jonathan Blow used Twitter to criticize the press for running towards both of them for quotes about what was, then, still a rumor coming from Game Informer about the news. A rumor with some legitimacy? Sure, and while it eventually proved true, Blow was upset reporters were asking for commentary without more information (for example, the revenue share ratio) and Fish lamented the press seeking a quote before everything was confirmed. Fish's divisive nature is easy traffic.

Cue Beer:

“But, of course, the press, wanting to get reactions, they went to a couple of indie developers. In this case, Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish, because those guys are the self-styled kings of the indie genre. They’ve been on Indie Game: The Movie, and they’ll turn up and quote for anything and everyone. And Ms. Fish and Blow, or BlowFish as I’m going to call the two them right, because while they may be moderately tasty, they’re also kind of lethal. [They] decided to go bananas and bitch and moan to Game Informer, in particular about “How dare you, how dare you ask us questions about this story! I’m sick of you guys wanting my opinion on this story!” Both of them, both bitching away. And I’ve just got a little message for the BlowFish. Gents, you are the guys who did Indie Games: The Movie, and some of you looked relatively normal in it, one of you looked like a total tosspot in it. You can’t have it both ways. You’re successful game designers, you’re indie game designers--hurrah, good for you, you fucking hipsters. Let’s get something out of the way. If you are successful and you want people to promote your games, and you go to the press and give them quotes for anything that pertains to your shilling your next title, when the press, then, come to you and say “this is something that’s pertinent to the indie scene, let’s talk to BlowFish because BlowFish are successful and they are, you know, supposedly these pioneers” don’t get fucking snicky about it, alright? Jesus, you should be grateful that these guys consider what you say something of use.. Me? I think the both of you are a pair of tosspots. You may make good games. Well, Blow makes...Blow makes a good game. Fez, I’m just not into at all. I’m just not into it. I respect people that do [enjoy it]. My own personal opinion, though? Having seen these wankers over and over again, bitch and moan--Phil Fish in particular, though.

Other Commentator: He does come across as whiny.

Beer: Whiny? He’s a fucking asshole most of the time. I’m an asshole, but that’s what I am, that’s what I do. I suck it up. But what I’m saying is that if you guys want the promotion the next time around on your Fez 2 or...what’s the follow-up to Braid, The Witless? Witless? Whoa! Yeah, c’mon. I would like to say to every outlet who got dismissed by BlowFish, fuck ‘em. Next time they have something to shill, say “yeah, not so much interested.” It is a two-way street, it’s a symbiotic relationship. You guys are out there, you have to suck it up.”

Game developers do not owe us anything, and I don’t owe them anything. It’s archaic to view the press-developer relationship as strictly symbiotic, and is indicative of an old view of the press-developer relationship. Do I often rely on developers to open up and allow me to tell their stories? Yes, but it’s an optional dance we do the tango to. No one is indebted to the other once that exchange has run its course, and that's the end of the road. If you're on a writer/journalist making this argument, that's really bad.


Fish caught wind of Beer’s comments, and exploded on Twitter.

("Compare your life to mine and then kill yourself" is a Futurama quote, but that's a bit besides the point.)

That’s just a taste. Beer eventually responded, and offered Fish an opportunity to discuss his commentary on camera, but Fish wasn’t interested. Over the next hour or so, Fish continued to vocally express his displeasure, speaking more broadly about his feelings about people slinging crap his way, and the toll it takes on psyche. It ended with Fez II’s abrupt cancellation, despite having been announced only recently.

I spent the weekend largely disconnected from the Internet. Like Fish, I’m a public figure, someone who puts themselves out there and deals with what comes back--the good and the bad. I’m not proud of the fact that I’ve grown a thick enough skin to deal with rape threats targeted at my wife simply because I’ve had the audacity to talk about sexism in video games. Nor am I proud of being able to withstand pot shots from anonymous jerks about my deceased father. These are not traits that will ever be mentioned in my resume.

We all handle criticism, especially the vitriolic kind, differently. I stopped responding to jerks, and ask people to come in my direction through email, private messages, or questions over Tumblr. Over time, it's produced excellent results, but not pulling the trigger and snarking back at a jerk is hard. Vocal game designer Hideki Kamiya tells people to fuck off. Fish responded by yelling, stirring the pot, and unironically latching himself to a photo of known troller (he probably would have hated that term) and comedian Andy Kaufman.

Some of his comments are indefensible, and some, I suspect, he wishes he could take back.

But I know the good of the Internet, too, and I wish Fish had, either, seen more of it or reminded himself of what it produces. I’ve had my moments with the Giant Bomb community, but so much has been tremendous.

I mean, look at this stuff.

When my father passed, the Giant Bomb community started a thread with well wishes about my work and anonymous comments about my father, a person none of them had ever met. I kept that thread bookmarked on my phone during the first week of my father’s passing, and would often head into the bathroom, page through the thread, not really reading anything, and cry. It was a showing of genuine compassion by a group of people who only knew me from what I put out there. When I needed them, they had my back.

And that's to say nothing of how we pulled together for during the passing of the irreplaceable Ryan Davis.

Whenever someone gets under my skin, I reach into my bag. Tucked into a pocket are a series of letters, private thoughts from people who have reached out over the years, thanking me for one thing or another that I've been involved in. Most of them bring a tear to my eye, and each reminds me why I'm still doing this.

99% of the Internet has been nothing but nice to me, even when it’s a backhanded compliment. It’s easy to focus on that 1%. That 1% is vile, hateful, spiteful, jealous, mean, and would likely be as venomous in a public place as they are with a badge of anonymity. Many are probably teenagers who will grow up and learn to regret their ignorant actions, but some of them aren’t, and those are the people who scare me the most. But I can’t spend my day worrying about the 1%. I wake up every day trying to make the other 99% happy.

I hope I’m doing an okay job of that.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
871 Comments Refresh
Posted by Lenny

Hey Patrick. I'm saddened to hear of the comments some shit(s) made re. your wife and dad. Your a pretty decent guy I reckon, I enjoy reading / watching your work. Fuck 'em!

Posted by Dino_Sousa

This is just all unpleasent to see by all parts involved and no one looks good at the end of the day, despite what great work one has done. I think "Annoyed Gamer" is wrong on a lot he has said and he was defenitly hostile on his approach, but Fish's attitude just made him look twice as bad.. He has the right to vent some of his displeasures. Absolutely. So does A.G. But it's how you say it that makes a difference, and also one has to learn to not judge everyone about sporadic stuff: don't put everyone in the same bag. I think Fish particularly is guilty of that. I think @patrickklepek touched on this as well on this article and has put it well. Also, his example on how to deal with the negativity is impecable. Like he said, it's hard not to strike back, not to lower yourself to the same level sometimes, but if you just learn to remember the good ones, the compliments, the support, the afection, the sense you're doing something extremely apreciated and gratifying, you then learn not to lower your level and, at the end of the day, you look good, they look awful, they'r loss.

Posted by Roulette1986

This is exactly why most developers/publishers have PR departments.

Posted by Ganthet2814

Great job summing up what basically I feel as well. You have been nothing but honest about your opinion about this or that. I have a great deal of respect for you and the rest of the Giant Bomb crew. I still think Phil should have went on record with Marcus about what was said, but if he wants out then I wish him luck. Keep up the good work sir and I will keep coming back for more. Miss you on the podcast though. Peace out man.

Posted by Clockwork_saint

Nice work, Patrick! We all have our own reasons and none of them should be forced upon us. You bring up excellent topics for discussion.

Posted by heatDrive88
Posted by IndustryApologist

Posted by I_am_Lono

"Some stuff happened over the weekend."

Damn it Patrick! Stop thinking brevity is cool!

Grrr!!! Angry panda!

Posted by Knurrunkulus

How fitting that in an article about assholes on the internet, assholes show up in the comments. I wonder: Do they even realize this?

Edited by Viking_Funeral

I'm enjoying Patrick being out of the office. We're getting more content from him, and a lot more well written and passionate journalism and commentary. Sure, I already miss him on the podcast and quick looks, but I feel like we're getting hear him clearer.

Edited by Devil240Z

I don't know much about Phil but his game is good, though confusing as fuck... might play some today. He will probably calm down and un-cancel Fez II, Though I personally like to see indies not do sequels and instead pursue new ideas. Looking at Blow, I would have zero interest in a Braid 2 but the Witness looks interesting.

Edited by Pr1mus

I'll take Patrick's word on that but it can be really hard at times to believe that it's only a small minority of peoples acting like sub-human trash on the internet.

And if you are one of those then you truly are disgusting.

If you don't understand what bullying is, what the pressure this can brings you shouldn't be talking.

Phil acting like the bully himself will never justify being attacked by thousands like this. No one but killers, child molesters, corrupt elected officials, fraudsters etc. deserves this. Telling someone to choke on a dick or even to kill themselves in an outburst of anger and frustration is not a capital offense. I dare anyone to pretend like you've never said something like this to anyone before.

People responding to these kind of comments from Phil in the same way he does are every bit as bad and guilty of making the internet one of the most toxic environment one can be in and you should be ashamed of yourself if you are one of them.

This ridiculous "grow up" comment that just keeps coming back again and again needs to stop. This is not something you grow out of, not if you have problems like Phil does. He's said he is bipolar. This is something that requires treatment. Maybe he does have treatment, or medication or a therapist. I don't know and no one here does. What is clear to anyone who has any amount of understanding of this situation is that this is not something you grow out of on your own with magic.

But all this is besides the point anyway because whether you agree or not with what i said there is simply no reasons for all this constant hate.

What is this need to hate people you don't even know? Where does it come from? If reveling in the problems of others you don't know and have no interaction with, people who have done you no wrong is something that makes you feel better then you have yourself some issues to work on and some of that "growing up" of your own to do.

It is so easy to separate the personality from the work. It hasn't been particularly difficult for the past couple years to not read Phil's twitter, or listen to interviews or panels with him if you don't want to. There has been no shortage of news, videos and reviews about Fez that have at most made only passing reference to Phil while focusing on the game itself. Contrary to popular belief Fez is not just a giant Phil Fish face screaming insults at you for 10 hours.

Don't respect the guy if you don't like him, in fact don't respect and approve what he's saying even if you like him when he spews garbage like he's known for. There is no excuse for those behaviours. But stop wasting your time following and hounding the guy with hatred. Save this hatred and disgust and the energy to tell them for the people who are doing a fine job or destroying the economy and civil liberties for example. Not some guy who thinks Japanese games are trash.

What would be really great is if that 99% of decent and reasonable people could be a bit more vocal, because that 1% of garbage sure is fucking loud.

Posted by Lane_

Patrick is fast becoming my favorite gaming journalist. Excellent insight to the subject once again.

Posted by pawsoffury

I've followed Phil Fish on twitter for sometime now and he's always replied to tweets I've sent his way with the up-most courtesy, respect & professionalism when he owes me NOTHING as just a fan of his work. If anyone is a 'toss pot' in all this it's Marcus Beer who for some bizarre reason thinks he represents gamers at large with his vitriolic, poisonous attitude. Then again, I'm sure it's far easier to appeal & rile up angsty 12 year olds on the internet than to actually debate anything sensibly!

Posted by KentonClay

" I would like to say to every outlet who got dismissed by BlowFish, fuck ‘em. Next time they have something to shill, say “yeah, not so much interested.” It is a two-way street, it’s a symbiotic relationship. You guys are out there, you have to suck it up."

That line made me raise an eyebrow; what an slimy thing to say. "I'm not going to do my job as a games journalist properly by covering your game, even if it's totally worth covering, if you don't rub our backs and give us soundbites for every petty rumor that slips out."

Fuck off.

Posted by Icecreamjones

Phil is a guy who tries to be funny a lot on twitter and gets really misconstrued - that Futurama quote he made is a prime example. Badly chosen without context, sure. But he wasn't really telling Beer to kill himself - he was making a reference joke. I have a feeling Phil has a pretty bad anxiety disorder like I do as well however, where once he gets riled up he really can't get over things. I feel for the man.

Edited by BurgerTrench

I honestly don't understand the hate for Fish. I mean I don't actively follow his career or anything, but I watched Indie Game the movie. I don't see it.

This whole thing was a bummer, and it was pretty inspiring to see Patrick's comments. I always wonder how internet personalities deal with the vitriol. I know some of it seeps through. But we're lucky enough to be in this awesome community....

Anyway, much love to all. Hope I get to play Fez II. I thought Fez was one of the best games of the last generation. It would be a real shame for Phil Fish not to follow up on it somehow.

Posted by alwaysbebombing
Posted by Saethir

This whole situation sucks, and I wish more people would take the time to talk about stuff they like than the nonsense that pisses them off.

Edited by Luddite

It seemed a bit like Beer went after someone he knew would give him material, because Fish isn't good about filtering out trollish behavior.

Posted by jakkblades

"Some stuff happened over the weekend."

Damn it Patrick! Stop thinking brevity is cool!

Grrr!!! Angry panda!


Posted by Catfish666


You missed the point of the article completely, I take it you must be new the to site. Patrick has clearly stated that he does not try to compete with the publishing speed of every little happening that goes on in the industry with news delivery sites, but rather keep up with the style GB was founded on, personality driven commentary on the industry.

If you want newest news, read kotaku or r/games, but don't complain about it when Klepek writes an positive editorial, seriously. GB crew are part of a minority of this snark-ridden games journalism culture, who focus on games themselves with optimistic outlook.

Edited by Nictel

Some of the comments reminded me of this:

I wanna make a cake out of rainbows..:

Yes basically this entire thing is reminding me of Mean Girls..

Edited by GearDraxon

@bishop113: But take a quick look through your comment history: there is no mention of the "great stuff" that you think Patrick does. In one thread, you call him lazy, stupid, etc…and several other posters comment that "there must have been a nicer way to voice your opinions." Look at the comments on this article: most of them on-topic, discussing (with varying degrees of civility) whether they think Fish or Beer (or neither) are in the right. Then there are a couple like yours, upset with Patrick's addition of personal perspective.

There's a difference between comments being all "sunshine and roses," and being a decent human being. That's part of what Patrick was getting at in the article.

Posted by Wrighteous86

@gaff said:

@rmack said:

@mildmolasses said:
@deegee said:

@rmack said:

Nice article about yourself, Patrick. Could you write one about Phil now?

This is exactly my response when I read this.

Yeah, the nerve of someone on this personality driven site trying to provide personal insight into what it's like being on the receiving end internet hate and the difficulties of coping with it.

I deleted my comment after reading about Patrick's father. Didn't want to come off as too much of a dick or an "annoyed gamer." Still, I kinda wish news stories played it straight, and "Worth Reading" is more of Patrick's,, I guess.

Have news stories ever been played straight on Giant Bomb though?

Unless it's a "just-the facts" bullshit article like Brad Nicholson used to write, no. They've always been editorialized articles, which is exactly what this is. Which I'd much rather read. Which is why I come to this site. Plenty of other sites offer news that way, I come here because I want to know their opinions or reactions to the news.

Edited by ConorKennedy

Thanks for this, Patrick. Sucks about Fez 2, was looking forward to it.

Posted by spraynardtatum

I loved Fez.

I wanted more. Hopefully Phil clears his head out a little and will come back. I think people have a hard time remembering that human beings have feelings.

That Marcus Beer guy sure was a twat. I won't be watching his videos anymore.... I can't believe how rude and condescending he was. Hopefully he apologizes like a responsible adult.

Posted by Breadfan

Guys. I am Phil Fish.

Edited by bhhawks78

You should be proud to have the mental maturity to have that thick skin.

Acting like a spoiled child in the face of criticism like fish isn't admirable at all.

I hope fish is gone from the games industry for good.

Edited by Monkeyman04

@pr1mus: Couldn't have said it any better.

Edited by tyler1285

Phil Fish is Denis Dyack with more fanboys.

Posted by paisan13

A bit one sided this was, yes?
Phil Fish is an asshole, and I'm glad he's gone. Of course thats not true, he'll be back in a month or two, cause theres paper to earn. Fish told Beer, a guy that has on the air talked about hes depressions and about trying to take hes own life, to kill himself, and i don't care if its from Futurama, its disgusting.
Now Beer is no quire-boy, but most of what he says is valid, he may be bullish, but the truth is that Phil Fish usually jumps at an opportunity to talk to anyone, the press, fans, podcasters, v-loggers, whoever wants to listen to hes opinions, but this time he wont say a word?
Stop defending this asshole, he did one good game, and after that said so much stupid shit that even Notch can hang on, and Notch loves hes Twitter account.
On the other hand, don't defend Marcus Beer either, hes doing hes job. But f**k defending telling Beer to kill himself just because it's a reference to Futurama, thats just idiotic and pathetic, shame on you.

Edited by Levio

Fish should not be overcooked, or it may dry out and become fairly tasteless.

Edited by heatDrive88

@itwastuesday said:

@grandharrier said:

Remember, friends, this is the guy who is famous for this. He doesn't understand the concept of tact. He is just mean.

He certainly doesn't subscribe to the concept of tact, though I'm sure he understands it. Is it the same thing as being mean? I'm not sure, but he certainly speaks his mind. You can always know, when you hear Phil Fish talk, that he's saying exactly what he means.

I think it's also fair to say that this video is referenced FAR TOO MUCH without context, if only for the first minute of the video, up to the point where Phil Fish says "they suck".

While yes, Phil Fish was crass about it in his opening dialogue about what the panel thinks about Japanese games, the general consensus of the entire table (largely voiced and agreed upon by Jonathan Blow) by the end of the video is that yes, they all believed that Japanese games were relatively bad with few minor exceptions.

Yes, Phil Fish took the heat for his comments, and eventually apologized for them. But it doesn't mean his opinion is invalid, if only to be understood through the full context of that video of the panel.

Posted by Nicked

The Internet hates everyone. There is always that 1%. There's always a pubescent 12-year-old out there who hates you and your stupid face and your stupid games and your stupid opinions and your etc., and who's unconcerned with spewing that irrational hatred at you anonymously.

But Fish's problem is not that he's too outspoken or too creative or too passionate, but that he doesn't cultivate respect. The Call of Duty guy who got death threats over patch notes earned my respect by calling attention to the issue in a reasonable way. David Jaffe will curse people out like nobody's business, but he generally presents his arguments in an eloquent and well-reasoned way without being arrogant or totally dismissive. Fish comes across as just as much of an asshole as the people who hate him. Whether he deserves that reputation or not, that's how a lot of people perceive him.

Jonathan Blow and Dean Dodrill are indie game developers who I respect. Phil Fish isn't. That absolutely does not mean he deserves hate, but it's hard to root for a guy who acts the way he does.

Posted by alishcra

Can we all just get along, and stop this none sense.

Posted by mdnthrvst

@mdnthrvst said:

@hardtarget said:

@mdnthrvst said:

@hardtarget said:

@mdnthrvst: whether he deserves it or not is not the issue, the issue is that on any given day he's an asshole and because of this that's why people lash out at him. The guy hasn't learned anything after years of this going on, he just posted this in April for god's sakes

There's a reason people are assholes to him whether they should be or not and if he can't figure this out then it's going to just keep on happening forever.

>whether he deserves it or not is not the issue

Disgusting viewpoints like these sometimes make me think that full, real-identity transparency is the only way to change anything online. Maybe eighteen-year-old boys won't tell people they're going to rape and murder them if it actually had any consequence.

There are a lot of famous assholes! Baseball coaches, actors, R&B singers - they don't deserve to be taunted by thousands of anonymous OTHER assholes wildly out of proportion to any offense they could ever inflict themselves.

I don't think you're getting what I'm saying...

I didn't miss your point, I ignored your point. Telling someone to change their fundamental personality to maybe get tens of thousands of teenage boys to stop screaming at them (which wouldn't work anyway, since Fish's reputation is set in stone by now) is a ludicrous request, especially if Phil truly is bipolar, which I don't know, but is easy to imagine.

There are a lot of fucking troubled artists throughout history. A lot of assholes, prone to rude or distasteful statements.

If Twitter had been around for all of the past five hundred years, I'd bet my life that most of their work would never have happened. It's the worst.

But that's not what happened this weekend. What happened instead what a journalist pundit trying to make news. That's m point, this is a really bad allegory for the internet at large type of stories since that's not what actually happened here.

No, what happened was a shock jock whined when a pair of indie devs didn't want to give him the same old bullshit console war soundbytes because they hadn't been briefed on the matter and didn't want to report on rumors.

Posted by FMinus

Drama over nothing as per usual.

Posted by Cheesebob

@grandharrier said:

Remember, friends, this is the guy who is famous for this. He doesn't understand the concept of tact. He is just mean.

He certainly doesn't subscribe to the concept of tact, though I'm sure he understands it. Is it the same thing as being mean? I'm not sure, but he certainly speaks his mind. You can always know, when you hear Phil Fish talk, that he's saying exactly what he means.

Exactly. Also, he is usually right. Like in that video. He just said it in an assholish way

Edited by warmonked

I don't like Marcus either. Not because I disagree with his opinions, but because the way he tries to justify his outrage is always so logically wrong. This latest rant is just another example. As Patrick says, Devs and Press don't really owe each other anything.

Also, Marcus "offering" Phil the chance to discuss this on camera feels like a sleezey way to make video content for your site.

Posted by PerfidiousSinn

Of course the game isn't actually canceled. It'll come out.

How else is he gonna make money?

Edited by IndustryApologist

Phil Fish is Denis Dyack with more fanboys.

With the exception that Denis Dyack made at least one good game.

Edited by okuzy

I love Giant bomb. Always have, always will. But reading this article I've learned to love you even more, Patrick. You're great at what you do and looking back on it now just reading and watching the things you post on the site really make me realize how much of an addition you've made. I didn't know how much the internet, and those around you, really helped you through these hard times that have affected you and those of us in the Giant Bomb Community. I didn't expect to read all this in an article revolving around the cancellation of Fez 2, but I am glad I took the time to read this. I was blind but now I see.

R.I.P. and respect to your father, and a father and friend to all of us, Ryan Davis.

stay strong, stay awesome, stay Patrick. Love you all.

P.S. Blowfish gave me the lulz

Edited by RockyRaccoon37
Posted by Hardtarget

@mdnthrvst: exactly and unfortunately that has nothing to do with the article that Patrick wrote here or that Kuchera wrote at PAR this morning

Posted by Aleryn

Nice to see a much longer snippet of what Beer said. Reminds me of tired radio shockjocks. Sad.

Phil Fish offends many and I understand why, but dangit I adored Fez as a game. Hope Phil recovers and can return it. Brave of you to open up there too, Patrick. Rock on d00d.

Posted by plugger603

Goodbye Mr. Fish. One less indie hipster is awesome. The great indie haven at Sony must be really upset.

Posted by Bub

Best article I've read about the issue.