Things have been rough on Phil Fish, the man behind one of 2012’s biggest indie games, Fez. After wrestling with Microsoft over their ludicrous patching fees that prevented him from fixing a major bug in the game, and arguing at length over twitter with a Gametrailers’ editor and several anonymous trolls about the merits of his game and career, Fish unceremoniously left the gaming industry and canceled the recently announced Fez sequel.
Now, other notable developers are stepping forward to support Fish, feeling that his departure would cost the gaming industry a great creative mind. One of these supporters is Cliff Bleszinski, designer of the Gears of War franchise. Cliff wrote a lengthy tumblr post telling Fish to hang in there and related some of his own negative experiences in the industry. We will let CliffyB’s words speak for themselves:
"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. Watch what people like Ricky Gervais and Patton Oswalt do on Twitter. Heck, like him or not, even Piers Morgan is pretty good at fending them off.
Every idiot that you outwit wins you five times the fans and that much more respect.
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 motherfucking 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.
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."
Whether or not Cliff’s pep talk will ease Fish’s woes remaines to be seen, but we here are Cheat Code Central, personally hope that Fish returns to the gaming industry. Cliff is right, we need more games like Fez, and fewer like Call of Duty, and that can only happen if great minds like Fish’s are willing to bring them to us.