Your disagrees simply feed my Bubble Count
CRank: 14Score: 0

Phil Fish: And Something of Value Was Lost

So, that's all, folks. Phil Fish left the game industry, cancelled his game, and that is that. Some might say "good riddance. Nothing of value was lost. What a crybaby". Others might be upset at the loss of Fez II. But what caused all this?

Most people who know the indie game scene know about Phil Fish. He's very outspoken, very rude, and very full of himself. He's received a lot of hate which some people might say he brings it on himself, but this latest debacle hardly seems like something he "brought on himself".

The provocation came when Marcus Beer of Game Trailers gave a non-stop 5 minute rant on the Invisible Walls show, not to comment on the game industry, but to personally attack two talented developers, insult them, curse at them, and assert that these two were terrible people just because they told Game Informer to stop asking them for comments on every weekly topic that sprung up. It wasn't even Game Trailers or any site Marcus Beer was affiliated with! Talk about journalistic white knighting of the most awful sort.

Beer's behavior was unprofessional and he deserves to be taken off Game Trailers. I know that sounds harsh, but we're talking about a paid staffer of Game Trailers who hijacked a show watched by tens of thousands simply to personally insult two people. What's worse is that he didn't show even a tenth of this outrage for actual gaming topics that matter, you know, like Microsoft's DRM fiasco or Sony charging for online multiplayer. Talk about integrity. And to make matters worse, he went on to say that because Phil Fish and Jonathan Blow refused to give quotes at the beck and call of the gaming press, all game press should boycott these two and not cover their games. Arrogant, ignorant, and terribly self-important. And if anyone STILL feels the need to defend Beer for his unprovoked attack, this is the same guy who said this about Hideo Kojima after Kojima showed off Metal Gear Revengence:

"If you wanna come and present a video at the video game awards in the US learn the ****ing language so you can say your speech...learn it...biggest ****ing insult of the night was him up there ****ing around not able to speak the language."

But my blog post isn't about Beer. What's done is done.

This blog post is about the avalanche of hate that poured out against Phil Fish from thousands of angry gamers. Between Steam, Fish's personal Twitter, here on N4G, the Polytron Co. website, and various gaming sites, tens of thousands of "who cares? F*** you" were uttered against him. People were quick to accuse Fish for "rage quitting" in response to Beer's unprofessional hack-job of a video, but that wasn't it at all. It was the thousands of people who flooded him with some of the most childish, inexcusable insults I've ever see on the internet, and we're talking about the INTERNET here. That's a pretty high bar to surpass.

Now, I'm not ignorant to the fact that Phil Fish replied to Beer (over Twitter, not on the main page of like Beer had) with his own brand of rude comments, but the fact remains that Phil Fish (and Jonathan Blow) was attacked, unprovoked. And the result wasn't just a nasty video posted on Game Trailers. It was the internet mob that grabbed their lengths of hanging-rope and took up Marcus Beer's mantle.

Here are a few choice quotes that came from Fez's Steam page, N4G, the Polytron site, and Fish's own Twitter (before it was taken down), and despite their edits, I actually tried to pick some of the 'cleaner' quotes. These aren't the worst quotes, believe it or not.

"Cry me a f***ing river you piece of s***"

"Nothing of value was lost"

"You are an embarassment. I hope you kill yourself with no friends to mourn you"

"Leave the game industry and never come back"

"Hahahaha get f***ed you pathetic f***ing blowhard. Fez was s*** by the way"

"Fez was s*** who would want more of your s***?"

"he deserves all the hate because he acted like such a f***ing d***"

That last one really got me. Really? It breaks my heart that people in this world actually believe someone deserves to be hated simply due to rude comments they made online.

This whole situation shows that on all sides - from the so-called "game journalists" like Marcus Beer all the way down to the common gamer - we have a lot of growing up to do. Have any of you met Phil Fish? Have any of you talked to him and gotten to know him? I'm not excusing his incredibly rude comments, not just recently but over the course of his entire career as a public figure in the indie scene. It's quite clear that he has a temper, but does that justify hundreds of people dog-piling him with thousands of vitriolic comments? Where's our sense of decency?

The sad, not sad. The downright disgusting and pathetic irony of it all is that we have an industry of journalists who leap at a chance to, for example, talk about how games can be art or stand up against "female oppression" in the videogame industry, but when it comes to Phil Fish? Oh, that guy said some rude comments on Twitter. He DESERVES this unprovoked attack. He DESERVES any hate that he gets. It's a terrible double standard. When a sexy female cosplayer gets harassed at a gaming convention, does the internet cry out with a unanimous "she brought it on herself"? When tackling gender equality issues, do our esteemed journalists say "well, women do a lot of dumb stuff, so it's not like they don't deserve the discrimination they face in the game industry".

But somewhere down the line, we can justify an ongoing, personal, vulgar assault against a game designer. Fish deserved it, right? It totally justifies people acting like schoolyard bullies, starting with Marcus Beer and ending with every single person who wrote "and nothing of value was lost". We justify our hate because Fish said hateful things, too? I mean, because Phil Fish said some really mean stuff a long time ago like "gamers are the worst f***ing people", that means it's completely okay for gamers to act like the worst f***ing people, right? Makes sense to me...

I already know the excuses. I already know the stuff Phil Fish has said. And I agree that it was totally childish of him to rage-quit the game industry. But then again, the guy has been putting up with nearly-daily verbal abuse for over a year and a half now. No human being deserves to be treated this way, especially not by game industry "journalists" whose jobs can only exist when people create videogames. I'd probably get fed up and quit, too. What's even worse is that this Phil Fish situation occurred during another prime example of stunning journalistic integrity. Several days ago, a Tweet came out saying Eurogamer/Digital Foundry had a story about the PS4's RAM coming out and it would cause some drama, but they were waiting for Sony to comment. But then, the story comes out anyway, saying that PS3 has 4.5 Gigs of RAM for gaming. Well, then the author stealthily changed that after Sony's reply came (you know, the reply Eurogamer was supposedly waiting for). And even after Digital Foundry's edit, there are still PS4 developers and industry insiders saying "nope. That number is still too low". My point is that all of this paints our esteemed game journalists in a poor light.

I guess I have to ask those who thought it was okay to attack this guy: what did he do to YOU? Yes, YOU, specifically YOU! What has Phil Fish ever done to you? And if your excuse is the rude comments he made to the public (but not to you, specifically), gee whiz, kinda ironic that gamers everywhere are telling this crybaby rage-quitter to "grow a thicker skin" and "deal with it or leave". Kinda sad that you justify the ongoing hate-parade against another human being just because that person said some really rude stuff to the internet. Grow a thicker skin indeed.

What's done is done. The children went outside to play, they bullied the loudmouth and pushed the loudmouth down to the sidewalk, and the loudmouth went home crying with skinned knees and took his toys with him. And then the other kids laughed and pointed their fingers. The bullies won, and the loudmouth finally went home, never to come outside with his toys again. "Victory!" the children chanted. "Victory!"

But the tragedy is that no one won. We're not supposed to be acting like children, not us, not journalists, not Fish. There's no excuse for anyone who participated in this mob-lynching. I've seen rampant fanboyism and shilling and blind loyalty in the game industry, but this was different. This was a disregard of basic respect for another human being. This was a mockery of any shred of "journalistic integrity" our industry had. This sent the message that it doesn't matter what sort of games you make or what you contribute to gaming, because f*** you Phil Fish you made rude comments on Twitter and now you deserved to be verbally assaulted by hundreds of strangers for months on end until you snap and quit your job, depriving people of the chance to play your next game.

But he deserved it, right?

The game industry - from journalists to gamers to Phil Fish himself - should be ashamed. Phil Fish rage-quit the game industry.

And something of value was indeed lost.

Our human decency.

The story is too old to be commented.
zerocrossing1699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

For the record I avoided this whole Phil Fish fiasco on the count of it being ridiculously blown out of proportion. I mean, sure the guy did make a pretty stupid comment (or better yet comments) but no matter what position in the indie scene he might have been in he is only human and probably couldn't take the hate any longer, not to mention the fact that Fish is somewhat of a loose canon to begin with.

I personally have never played Fez but I'd heard good things about it, and Fish certainly had many who did respect him regardless of is outspokenness and arrogance. It is pretty funny though, how in the end his comment stating "gamers are the worst f***ing people" is now justified by many gamers actually becoming the worst f***ing people...

Blacktric1699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

"he is only human and probably couldn't take the hate any longer"

You do realize he's actually aiming people to feel sorry for him to gain free publicity right? In about a month or two, he will unlock his tweets and say something like; "Support from the community's been amazing. FEZ II is a go. Thanks to passionate fans.". It's the typical attention seeking method usually associated with Tumblr users who incessantly post about bullying.

zerocrossing1699d ago

You think so? Well that certainly is a possibility, but I would rather take the wait and see approach before I jump to that conclusion.

Honestly I don't know an awful lot about Fish so he might be completely deserving of the hate, but a lot of gamers should be ashamed of themselves for the comments they've been sending his way. They're not exactly able to take the morel high ground when they become themselves what they despise.

SilentNegotiator1699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

His avatar is Andy Kaufman, who is believed to have faked his death by some people and was expected to return (with his buddy Elvis, I guess). There's definitely a chance that he's faking his "death" from the gaming industry.

Marcus Beer is just an armchair journalist that somehow managed to get a job doing it professionally. His only experience in the game industry is as a PR person (of which his longest position seems to have lasted a mere 3 years ). He doesn't deserve to act so high and mighty or get a free pass for such rude attacks on the most successful indie developers.

Fish has some issues, but the media has gotten way out of hand with their hatred of him. Don't believe it? Take the instance of him "telling someone to kill themself". It was a quote from Bender from Futurama. Furthermore, it wasn't some attack; it was a reaction to Beer's comments about indie developers' success. Fish didn't use the entire quote, but it starts with "I have all the money! Compare..." Good thing he didn't tell him to jump off a cliff; then we would have probably gotten articles about Fish's "attempted murder"

Tetsujin1699d ago

I agree Black, if nothing else it's a pity move to get people to stop picking on him and sometime later "Fez 2 is in production" or something along those lines. I didn't get too involved with anything related to him (since I never played Fez) and after this whole attitude Phil put on I refuse to support any of his projects. I refuse to support someone who "runs away" from their passion over the media (or "pretend" they're done just to get people to feel sorry for him then come back later); and I'll go on the record to say this: If I was a major corp. and he put in an application, I'd turn him down just on pure principle. Disagree all you want however I will not feed into this "feel sorry for Phil" BS.

I will also go on record to say this; if you quit the gaming industry over something the media "said," then good riddance, we don't need you anyways, and you wasn't in gaming as a passion, you joined to make a quick $ (regardless of how fun your game is). When I begin my projects, the media can rip me up all they want; I'll laugh it off and continue to make good projects while they cook up more lies and dig up more irrelevant information.

nukeitall1699d ago


I agree, and it is amazing how immature Fish really is, quitting over something someone else said. I didn't know the public had so much power over Fish.

Some will miss Fez, but to me and many others, the world is now a little bit better place.

We don't need you Blowfish!

pixelsword1696d ago (Edited 1696d ago )

I'm an artist/graphic designer, and I can tell you that a lot of artists tend to be moody. Heck, some days here I'm joking, and other days I'm getting banned for challenging the mods and flipping them off verbally.

Unlike most artists though, my remedy is pie... maybe a kissing a few different girls; then I'll put what's left into my art, but the ladies come first... after pie.

But the "journalist" is in the wrong, he is not professional at all and deserves any derision he got from Fish.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1696d ago
StraightPath1699d ago ShowReplies(2)
GribbleGrunger1698d ago

I read your PM, followed the link, read the blog and was not left wanting. An excellent piece of writing, and something I can agree with 100%.

DoctorJones1699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

'What's worse is that he didn't show even a tenth of this outrage for actual gaming topics that matter, you know, like Microsoft's DRM fiasco'

He did -

EDIT:Also -

'we have a lot of growing up to do.'

You're making a sweeping generalisation here, those people aren't me or the great majority of gamers on the internet who are pretty civil people. This isn't a problem that is centered on gamers - it's a problem with the human race, some people are complete assholes.

You can't put the spotlight on gamers as a whole when it's something that happens in all walks of life.

dedicatedtogamers1699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

It's not a matter of me putting the spotlight on gamers for doing something in all walks of life.

It's a matter of me putting the spotlight on gamers who participated in it and justified it.

Huge difference.

As far as Beer's rants against Microsoft, never said he didn't do it, only that it was one-tenth the vitriol. Where were the personal attacks against Don Mattrick calling him names for 5 minutes straight and saying that his game system wasn't worth it? Because that would be the equivalent of what he did to Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish.

Donnieboi1699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

People don't care about what Beer did. They care more about Fish's reaction, since Fish is notorious for doing to others, what Beer did to him. YET, Fish throws a tantrum, and cancels his game (for what?), and cancels his twitter (which is akin to destroying all the mirrors in the house because he can't face his own demons). Fish is getting a dose of his own medicine, and he's now afraid to take his punches. THAT is why people are getting on Fish's case. So what if it's unprovoked. Had it been anyone else, we would defend them from Beer. But instead, Beer's rant is a reflection of Fish's public relations and lack of respect in the industry. It's one bully picking on another. So people don't feel sorry for Fish. The least he could do is man up and fight back. He already dug his own trench, but now that the heat has been turned up, he runs away and turns off twitter and cancels his game (why? The kind of tantrum a child throws--by punishing everyone else and "destroying" things like a baby).

Your blog said:

"Now, I'm not ignorant to the fact that Phil Fish replied to Beer (over Twitter, not on the main page of like Beer had) with his own brand of rude comments, but the fact remains that Phil Fish (and Jonathan Blow) was attacked, unprovoked."

Look, even though Beer was unprofessional and wrong, people still think Fish had it coming to him for all the crap he's pulled in the past. U say that Beer attacked Fish unprovoked, but Fish attacked others when unprovoked too. And even though these "others" have nothing to do with Beer, I still think Beer's anger towards Fish is reflective of how fed-up many people are with Fish. For example, Fish openly, brazenly attacked Japanese game devs to their faces. What he did was entirely unprovoked. Yet, now when Fish is attacked (with Beer's rant) he throws a tantrum, cancels his game, and hides by shutting off his twitter. He didn't even put up a fight. Fish is like a bully who get's his card pulled, and retreats because he isn't used to being the one who is under attack. He's a coward, a malevolent thorn in the world of professionalism in gaming, a jerk and a crybaby. People aren't concerned with Beer's rant--their concerned with Fish's hypocrisy--his innability to take punches even though he dishes them out all the time. Even I get attacked on n4g, for my avatar or whatever, but I don't shrink away. It comes with the territory. But Fish DESERVED to eventually have his own medicine be served back at him. It just so happened to come from someone (Beer) who Fish had never attacked prior. Now Fish knows what it's like when someone attacks you when you didn't even provoke it first. A taste of his own medicine. And then people would have moved on, if Fish handled it like a man. But no, he cancelled his game, quit gaming community, and refused to face his accusers. So THAT is why people say good riddance. Put it into it's proper perspective, because when the MAJORITY of people think he's wrong, then maybe there's something to it. Don't assume that your own opinion is without flaw, and everyone else's is tainted. Fish failed to man-up when it was HIS turn to take an unsolicited punch (though he loves to be the one doing the punching)

Anon19741699d ago

Nobody should ever have to put up with this level of bullying and harassment. You don't like Fish's game, fine. Criticism is part of the industry. You don't agree with his opinions? Then offer a counter point. To personally insult and bully someone like we've witnessed here just makes me shake my head.

How on earth did we as gamers ever allow such a toxic culture to grow within where it's now the norm for someone to be personally attacked for not providing a comment, or for game writers to receive death threats to themselves and their families because their game ending didn't satisfy?

A talented developer has been bullied out of the industry as a result. How many great games will we never see from developers bullied out of the industry? And this is acceptable now? Disagree with Phil's past comments all you want, that doesn't excuse people's behavior towards him.

DoctorJones1699d ago

'A talented developer has been bullied out of the industry as a result.'

What do you think of Phil Fish's attitude to someone here? -

Isn't he being a bit of a bully there? He could have answered in a more diplomatic way, but instead chose to be an arrogant asshole.

I'm not condoning what others have said to him on twitter or whatever, you get those sorts of people everywhere, but he did himself no favours with his arrogant opinions and the way he conducted himself.

Godmars2901699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

Where were the personal attacks against Don Mattrick calling him names for 5 minutes straight and saying that his game system wasn't worth it?"

Did Mattrick have an actual hand in making the XB1, or was he just trying to sell it? Has he, personally, made statements about Sony's or Nintendo's shortcomings, or has he pretended that those other companies don't exist?

If Fish hadn't made the controversial comments he had no one in their right mind would be defending Beer for what he. Instead Fish put himself out there seemingly waiting for someone to call him on his crap, and beer did.

And Fish overreacted to it.

trafalger1699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

"Isn't he being a bit of a bully there? He could have answered in a more diplomatic way, but instead chose to be an arrogant asshole."

this is true and true for many people and the problem is everyone has different filtering processes. here on n4g for example you might have a topic about a game or a system and someone will say it sucks. that is the same response fish gave. others will say the game or system isn't very good because of... then you have a more diplomatic response like the game is ok and what i like about it is this and what i dont like is that.

some people here will always tend to have a negative tone compared to other people thats just the makeup of each individual and phil fish is immature when it comes to social behavior. jonathan blow seems a little awkward himself and tries to think more rationally before he speaks but even then it doesnt come across as that natural.

phil fish has a lot of growing up to do and a lot of these indie developers work alone. that means some may not have groomed themselves into being what is acceptable social behavior. we see it on a daily basis on the forums too. the difference is they can hide and because people like phil fish are more recognized they are supposed to conduct themselves in more of a leadership role. even a lonely child can have different behaviors than one with siblings.

do you expect people on here with a lot of conversation bubbles to troll, be totally biased, and act like a bully? no but they do. shouldnt they be the more well known and respectful members that should be more accountable for what they say?

besides, what many of them said about japanese games is true. the same can be said about westernized games like call of duty. that why games like dark souls/demon souls has such a strong following with a real hardcore fanbase. compare that to some of the tweets and responses the guys get who made call of duty. thats not a fanbase, thats just wasted space. the bottom of the barrel and some think the n4g community can be a lot like that too.

can you imagine m$ saying they cancelled the xbone because of all the flack they got? no, that's because they are veterans and know the impact that would have caused. especially financially. so instead they took a deep breath and change some of the policies and are hoping to gain some more respect and win people over. but you will always have your hardcore that wants to call them out every chance they get. just like those who did it to the ps3. thats just the nature of the internet and how everyone can now be a critic. and do it anonymously. phil fish will one day learn that valuable lesson and not overreact so much.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1699d ago
MeatAbstract1699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

It was another mess of a situation but still offered some entertaining news.

Call it harsh, say I'm a horrible human being for getting some slight enjoyment out of it but I did. Drama an all that.

There's the link to the video that started this whole thing. Now I don't use Game Trailers regularly but it seems Marcus Beer uses this segment to have a bitch fit at someone or something in the industry. There are people that do this and are known for it. Is it right? Nah however I still think he had a point.

Are Phil Fish and Jonathon Blow talented people? Absolutely. Are they stuck up and pretentious? Definitely. But they whined because journalists approached them both, two big indie developers, and asked them questions on things within the gaming industry. You know, which they're suppose to do. They could simply of said they have no comment to offer or something like that. Because when you're in the spotlight, it's time to show a bit of decorum. The harsh truth is, Marcus Beer bitches about things and is known for it. People probably watch him for that. Phil Fish and Jonathon Blow develop games and when the developers start whining and bitching, you start to wonder if you should buy these games and if they actually deserve your hard earned money. No one wants to fuel and fund an arseholes ego.

Bimkoblerutso1699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

It's just a sad state of affairs, really. Should Blow and Fish have handled the sitattion better? It should be obvious that they should have.

At the same time, though, it's sad that this is what journalism has become: a combination of rumors, sensationalism and mild browbeating, with objective reporting taking a back seat to the entertaining spectacle and drama of confrontation.

s45gr321699d ago

Pretty much that's what game journalism has become, there's hardly any news due to low hits. But when it comes to drama, flametory headlines boy does it get hits.

NYC_Gamer1699d ago (Edited 1699d ago )

Phil is a jerk and always acted like he was better than everyone else based on his ego/comments..I don't feel any guilt for dude leaving the industry[that was his own decision].There's plenty of humble/down to earth indie developers that will step up to the plate.

Guerrilla1699d ago

I didn't take part in any of this, but let me say, Fish decided to be a public figure, he talked some shit and he was flamed by the internet, big whoop. And if you haven't seen flaming such as this, you have never looked at a twitter account of any person of public interest ever...

exhibit a:

This has absolutely nothing to do with gamers or the industry. Again, if you are a public figure in any way shape or form you are bound to get flamed, even more so if you talk shit like Japanese games suck, PC sucks for gaming, Gamers suck. You should know better than this, and he surely did, but he made those comments anyway, which is fine if you can handle some mean text messages on the internet. He apperantly couldn't...

So yes he brought this onto himself. Of course he doesn't deserve so much hate, but being a douche is punished by hateposts on the internet, and this is nothing new, special or surprising. He knew, he did it anyway, so it's his fault, ladida...

Show all comments (40)
The story is too old to be commented.