Over the weekend, Phil Fish, the creator of FEZ, got into a dust-up with writer and podcaster Marcus Beer. That lead to Fish announcing his departure from games and the cancellation of FEZ II.
Cliff Bleszinski, the creator of Jazz Jackrabbit and Gears of War, decided yesterday to pen an open letter to Phil Fish.
You can head to Bleszinski’s blog to catch the letter in its entirety, but here’s a particularly striking bit.
You don’t owe a damned thing to any gaming journalist. We’ve seen the rise of many “Rush Limbaughs” in the gaming industry, people who do videos or podcasts digging a finger into an open wound that gets the gaming community going because, hits. You DO owe a great product to your community, something I hope you’ll resume doing some time in the near future. The industry needs people like you to speak with their hearts before their brains because I’m tired of hearing the PR approved appropriate response. I’m tired of games that feel like they’ve been developed by focus groups or clueless executives going “Hey that Call of Duty is big, we need one of those!”
Besides, at the end of the day, that cycle of community feedback and crafting that big fireball is entirely too addictive.
Come back, Phil. We miss you already. Maybe I’ll be right behind you, returning with Adamantium skin.
I won’t suggest that I’ve been a constant fan of what Bleszinski has offered up on the internet. I’ve only once had direct interaction with him at an event, something I’m certain he doesn’t remember, so my basis for judgement is slim.
This letter, though, reads genuine. Bleszinski offered Fish a calm line of reasoning that I hope he takes to heart.
If you ask most writers on TechnoBuffalo, I’m almost certain you’ll find that all of us have been told to commit suicide, been threatened with violence and been trolled into oblivion. It’s part of the territory. People on the internet are mean, let’s hope Fish can move beyond that and get back to making games.