Since launching Fez to critical acclaim back in 2012, creator Phil Fish has had a rough go of things. He’s had heated discussions with fans, made threats to leave video games and dissolve the Fez IP, and deleted his Twitter more times than we can count. It’s become such a regular event — the Phil Fish Twitter tirades — that we’ve kind of lost track.
That isn’t to say that Fish has not put this unwanted spotlight on himself and in some respects he has, but the amount of negative attention thrown his way is rather shocking. Now, he’s back at it again, and this time it seems like Phil Fish is done for real.
While it’s hard to get the full story because Fish has deleted his Twitter account, here’s what we know. Sometime within the last week, Fish put his personal thoughts out there regarding the recent situation involving indie developers and sexual conduct (Google it) and was promptly met by a deluge of gamer hate. Fish has always been a vocal member of the gaming community, and occasionally it gets him into hot water, but this time it seemed like he chose the wrong issue to pick sides over.
Shortly after, both Fish’s Twitter account and the corporate site for his company Polytron were hacked. Although we don’t know who exactly hacked the social media account or the site, some members of the 4chan board /V/ and Anonymous have come forward to claim responsibility, while others are saying 4chan was not involved.
The hacks, of course, sent Fish over the edge. He posted a quick series of Tweets outlining some thoughts on the matter before abruptly claiming that he was done with game development, done with Twitter, and was putting the Fez IP on sale. Here’s a brief recap of Fish’s tweets courtesy of Level Save:
“this is videogames.
this is what i get
this is unacceptable
this is not okay
never again, you hear me? never again.
this is videogames
this is your audience
to every aspiring game developer out there: don’t. give up. it’s not worth it.
nothing is worth this.
give up on your dreams. they are actually nightmares.
just don’t do it.
Since this isn’t the first time Fish has threatened to leave Twitter, game development, or the Fez IP, it’s hard to evaluate whether the developer is really done with life in the public eye. He’s not the only developer or website hacked as a result of this issue, either, so perhaps once things boil over he might return.
Obviously, some lines were crossed somewhere between Fish sharing personal feelings on an issue and having his sites hacked. You might disagree with someone’s thoughts or actions, but messing with their professional or personal life in response to that is never okay.
Clearly, Fish is a talented individual with a great imagination, and it would be disappointing if he really did leave game development. Yes, he’s very vocal and he has drawn his fair share of ire from fans, but that doesn’t mean he should be pushed out of an industry he feels so passionately about. We’ll keep you posted.
Do you think Phil Fish is really done with video game development? Would you like to see another developer take over the Fez IP?