If you haven’t heard by now, Fez II was officially put to pasture. The news came via Fez‘s polarizing creator Phil Fish, who took to Twitter over the weekend, responding to the latest round of harsh criticisms by saying he was done with the industry. In a subsequent post from the indie developer’s studio, the official statement confirmed that the surprise sequel would never see the light of day.
When the news broke, we were hesitant to pick it up for a few reasons. Firstly due to the nature of the announcement, which was delivered swiftly in the midst of an obviously emotional moment for Fish, and over Twitter no less. We’ll spare you the details of who said what, that information is out there if you’re interested, but in an effort to avoid perpetuating the he-said-she-said circus it’s not relevant to this story.
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
Secondly, it’s no secret that Fish and Microsoft (and by extension, Xbox Live Arcade) aren’t on the best of terms. Following turbulent post-release support, Fish has gone on record regularly to condemn Microsoft and their indie-facing practices. It’s unlikely that Fez II would have ended up on the platform, but a small ember of hope remained with the confirmation title patches would no longer carry fees, and the long-sought move for independent self-publishing on the Xbox One.
Unfortunately the future of Fez is all but a pipe dream now, not only for Xbox Live Arcade, but every platform. It’s a shame, but Phil Fish knows what’s best for Phil Fish and regardless of his contentious online persona, if his decision to exit the game industry means an obviously talented creator gets to keep on keepin’ on, that’s a decision everyone should respect.