Indie developer Phil Fish has announced the cancellation of Fez II and his retirement from making games after a vicious Twitter argument with game critic Marcus Beer.
Phil Fish of Polytron has abruptly announced the cancellation of the sequel to beloved indie game Fez, Fez II,.
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
The cancellation followed a particularly nasty Twitter argument between Fish and game critic Marcus Beer, who tore into Fish and Media Molecule's Jonathan Blow in an episode of Invisible Walls on GameTrailers. Fish, who that his game would not be appearing on the Xbox One over Microsoft barring indie developers from self-publishing, has not yet commented after the company changed its mind on that policy last week.
In the beginning of the episode, Beer called out Fish and Blow for refusing to comment on the issue when contacted by the press. He also called Fish a "tosspot", a "wanker" and an "arsehole", saying that the developer should be grateful for any and all press attention — and that choosing not to comment on the story was "snicky".
"Gents, you were the guys who did Indie Game: the Movie," Beer said. "Some of you looked relatively normal in it, one of you looked like a total tosspot in it. But you can't have it both ways. You're successful game designers, you're 'indie' game designers; hurrah, good for you, you f****** hipsters."
He then called on the media to ignore Fish and Blow if they declined to comment.
Fish responded on Twitter, saying that he was waiting for more information before commenting, and demanding that Beer apologise, adding that "I f****** hate this industry". He reportedly told Beer to kill himself. Not long after, he announced, "I'm done, FEZ II is cancelled. Goodbye." He has since set his Twitter account to private.
Wow. @PHIL_FISH told me to go kill myself. Achievement Unlocked?— Marcus Beer (@AnnoyedGamer) July 27, 2013
The announcement, however, followed on the official Polytron Twitter account, as well as the Polytron website. "Fez II is cancelled," he wrote. "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."
Although fans are hopeful that this is a smokescreen so that Fish can get on with the game without being watched and criticised, the developer told Kotaku that he was quite serious about the cancellation, "It's just not worth it anymore," he said.
In April, Fish announced that his first game, Fez, had sold 200,000 copies on Xbox Live Arcade alone in a single year.