‘Fez 2′ Reactions: Cliff Bleszinski’s Open Letter & Polytron Producer’s Response

Aug 2, 2013 by  

Cliff's Letter To Phil

Fez 2 was only just announced this summer, but the game and it’s oft-vocal creator Phillipe “Phil Fish” Poisson have already been in the center of the media spotlight for the last few weeks. Fish was involved in a heated twitter exchange which resulted in the developer canceling the game entirely, leaving Fez 2 fans without any hope of a sequel to the popular original. The spectacle attracted Cliff Bleszinski, former design director at Epic Games and no stranger to internet rage himself, who wrote an open letter to Phil encouraging him to return.

Those who have seen Indie Game: The Movie will have a better understanding about Phil Fish’s capricious personality, as the movie detailed his struggles to push the eventually-successful Fez title into the market and repeated delays and a legal battle with his original partner on the project. Fish went through years of precarious financial standing, legal problems and delays before the original title launched to much acclaim in 2012, and the announcement of a sequel was met with plenty of excitement – but also brought out a fair amount of pundits as well. The argument leading to Phil’s meltdown and departure from the gaming scene wasn’t actually about Fez 2 in particular, but it was the last straw for a stressed Fish.

In the letter, Cliffy B details his earlier encounters with internet trolls and discouraging critics, whom had insulted Cliff and his early work back when he had a website dedicated to cats and, more seriously, when he was first learning to code. Among the scope of hate he received online included people randomly making fun of the death of his father, which is a taboo subject that most trolls wouldn’t cross even through internet anonymity.

Fez 2 Cancelled

Bleszinski offered some advice on how Phil can cope with being in the spotlight as a game developer:

Someone on Twitter asked me how to deal with haters. I have some experience on the subject for well over 20 years now. Blow says you can’t ignore it because by the time you’ve read the words it’s too late. The key with the idiots is to outwit them because the idiot uses hate (and poor spelling/grammar) because the idiot does not know how to be witty.  [...] The other key is to absorb all of that hate into one big fireball of motivation inside of your belly and then pour all of that energy into your work until you can unleash one big giant mother****ing HADOKEN upon the community that wins awards and sells millions and then the haters will truly be eating a giant bushel of dicks as you roll in a pile of money, acclaim, and community love.

Cliff mentions that on the few occasions that the two have talked, Phil was an animated person who spoke with a lot an eccentric air – a personality he believes the gaming industry needs more of, not less. The letter ends with an open request that Phil return to the gaming industry despite the ongoing drama, and Cliff alludes that his own public return – which seems to be coming up soon given his recently revealed work on a brand new game via a sweet image – would come close behind the Fez developer if he can overcome his fatigue from the critics.

Come back, Phil. We miss you already. Maybe I’ll be right behind you, returning with Adamantium skin.

Phil Fish hasn’t made any mention of the letter since it was posted by Cliff Bleszinski, but given the attention it received on the internet it’s more than likely he’s had it forwarded to his inbox several times. While Fish remains tight-lipped, some of his co-workers at Polytron have ‘fezzed up’ about the incident: Marie-Christine Bourdua, a producer at Polytron studio, confirmed she had no idea Phil was even considering canceling the project. The producer wasn’t even in their home province of Montreal when the Twitter incident happened, and spoke about the issue at Torontoaru, an aptly-named Toronto-based development conference:

“It was weird and special to learn it that way, but I respect and trust Phil a lot, so that’s totally fair that he decided that and he has his reasons.”

Other sources from the company stated that the studio learned about the cancellation the same way the public did – by unexpectedly reading it in a tweet.

What do you think, Ranters? Has the letter fallen on deaf ears, or will the creator of Fez be inspired to return?

Gamers and fans interested in reading the full letter can find it here.

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Follow me on Twitter @Makelevi.

Sources: Cliff Bleszinski, Joystiq

13 Comments

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  1. In other words, Cliffy B had to tell him to put on his big boy pants and stop being such a whiny bitch.

    • How about you start making a game basically all on your own, being the only person responsible for design, programming, finances and PR.

      Let’s see how you deal with 2000 people every day telling you how they boned your mother while bitching about every decision you make.

      Some people wouldn’t care about it. Fish cares too much but then he is one hell of an indie developer. Something that YOU are not.

      • No, I’m not, but I do know how to act professionally, how to take criticism, and how to ignore people that are saying things with only malicious intent. The fact is that EVERYONE in the entertainment business, be it video games, music, movies, TV shows, books, web shows, etc. deal with those kinds of people. The fact that Fish is the only one that crumbled and threw a fit on Twitter shows that he’s not mature enough to be famous. Also, he didn’t make the game all on his own. He had a small team he was working with, which is why there’s a picture of the Polytron logo on Fez and not Fish’s douchey hipster mug.

        • How much criticism do you take in a given day?

        • Are you kidding me? Famous people are assholes all the time.

          Developers are usually shielded from the public pretty well, by PR departments and spokespersons. The reason why Cliff Blezinski gets so much publicity is because he WANTS TO.

          Indie developers don’t have that luxury. Fish has to do everything on his own and he simply isn’t as good at dealing with assholes as he is at making games. I don’t understand why you can’t accept that. I don’t give a crap about his PR capabilities, I care about his games.

        • Also according to “Indie Game: The Movie” he was the only permanent member of the team during the production of FEZ.

    • Audega, it is because of people like YOU that he is out, so SHUT IT and have some respect!

      • respect him for what? throwing a little boy crying baby attack over twitter, hes not a man and needs to grow up. besides i havent even heard of his game so it must suck

        • You are the biggest know-it-all childish jerk on this site, seriously.

        • Oh really? He’s not a Man?
          How about you make a video game and earn millions?

          If supporting yourself is not being a Man I don’t know what is
          Phil is more of Man then you f-king disgrace of a troll will ever be
          Humanity Sucks(People like you are a good example) and Phil is just one of the many victims

        • Whether it sucks or not and if you heard of it or not have no co-relation whatsoever although it sounds like you think your baseless opinion is so important that the two ARE tied together. I say “baseless” because how you can you comment on a game (and its developer for that matter) if you have not even played it? That would be like reviewing a movie (and its director) without actually watching it.

  2. Phil needs to fight Fire with Fire
    Troll the trolls and look at them as trash

    That’s all he needs to know becuz quite frankly all the people that hate him are pure garbage

  3. Cliff B is like a real life Brucie from GTAIV.

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