Cliff Blezinski and Phil Fish. Both names have a distinct ring to them in the world of videogames, some might say for many of the same reasons. If you hadn’t heard, Mr. Fish recently had what I wouldn’t hesitate to describe as, well, a complete freakout on Twitter, which quickly led to a brash rage-quit on development of the newly announced Fez II. Much like Patrick Klepek over at Giant Bomb, I don’t believe for a second that Fish is actually gone for good, and apparently neither does Cliffy B. In a lengthy and surprisingly compassionate blog post, the Cliffster did his best to pull our man Fish up by his bootstraps and get him back to fresh water. You know, like a fish.
To be fair, Bleszinski has pretty much been where Phil is now, and his advice comes off as both sincere and insightful. You can check out the entire thing here, or read some of the finer points below (thanks MCV).
My first time being flamed online happened when I was 15 the summer my father died suddenly from heart issues. I was learning how to code and I wrote a simple screen saver. I released it and someone anonymously posted ‘Your dead father could have coded something better.’
I was furious, hurt, and I replied with an implied death threat. The website called my house and I got in trouble for the comment, but the damage was done. My skin started to thicken, as did my resolve to do something with my life.
Never underestimate the intestinal fortitude of the anonymous loser hiding behind a monitor and his or her ability to sling vitriol at someone who willingly puts themselves out there. The fact of the matter, Phil, is that you were trending worldwide on Twitter. How many game developers can say that?
Never forget that the internet can be a fantastic thing, but it can also be fantastically dumb.
You don’t owe a damned thing to any gaming journalist. We’ve seen the rise of many ‘Rush Limbaughs’ [right wing American radio personality] 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!’
Come back, Phil. We miss you already. Maybe I’ll be right behind you.
I’ve nothing to add, really. Bravo Cliffy! That was beautiful, and I mean that sincerely. It doesn’t mean I forgive you for thinking a Harmony Korine-piloted videogame is a good idea (*vomit*), but bravo all the same.
Do you think Fez II will eventually see the light of day? Let us know in the comments below.