Over the weekend, a person who bills himself as the “Annoyed Gamer” got into a Twitter fight with the person who made Fez, a beautiful game. As a result of this angry exchange of words in a forum where people are pretty much obligated to speak in half-sentence bleeps and bloops, the maker of Fez decided that the games world is so terrible, he would not make Fez II, which was announced earlier this year in the form of a logo.
“Nyah,” said the Annoyed Gamer person. “Grarr,” said the Fez person, and then he canceled Fez II. I’m paraphrasing somewhat. Kotaku has all the details, although I think you’ll find that my account is pretty accurate.
The person who made Fez is Phil Fish, who is best known for making Fez. He is also known, among a smaller audience, for shooting his mouth off from time to time. Most notably—“notable” being used in relative terms here—he told a Japanese developer at last year’s Game Developers Conference that modern Japanese games “just suck.” This fit of over-the-top rudeness was met with even more outsized horror and vitriol among some especially vocal message-board patrons, as they are the only people who are allowed to say that things suck.
The Annoyed Gamer is Marcus Beer, who commentates for the GameTrailers online website. Beer expressed a reasonable complaint about independent developers’ relationship with the press, except he expressed it in the rudest, most aggrieved manner possible. If this were a romantic comedy, Beer and Fish would pause in the middle of their heated argument, realize they are not so different, and kiss each other deeply. I’m really hoping this is a romantic comedy.
Both sides would like you to believe that this exchange has larger implications for The Fate Of Video Games And Journalism And Art, so they have acted in a way designed to maximize hand-wringing by onlookers. Because otherwise, this is just two people having an ugly moment on the internet, which is what it is. One little teapot can only hold so much tempest.
The real news is that Fez II is canceled (at least for now). That’s bad. But we still have Fez! That’s good. And with time, this snit will dissolve like so much potassium benzoate.