The recent surprising news that Polytron’s own Phil Fish had canceled development on Fez II came as a shock to the gaming world, leaving the internet awash with speculation, debates, and just about every other reaction one would expect.
In response to the cancellation, Gears of War creator and former Epic Games employee Cliff Bleszinski released an open letter addressed to Fish on his blog, calling for him to move past all of the criticism and make a return to the gaming industry.
Bleszinski, he explains in the post, is no stranger to criticism; he says that he’s had experience dealing with it in its various forms for roughly 20 years now.
“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,” Bleszinski wrote. “Never forget that the internet can be a fantastic thing, but it can also be fantastically dumb.”
Bleszinski went on to offer his own idea of how to handle – or channel, in this case – all of the hatred directed towards those in the spotlight. This kind of advice is something only a character like Bleszinski could give. Admittedly, it is pretty good advice.
“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 motherf****** HADOKEN upon the community that wins awards and sells millions and then the haters will truly be eating a giant bushel of d**** as you roll in a pile of money, acclaim, and community love.”
Dealing with criticism and unwarranted hate is something that many people who put themselves in the spotlight have to deal with regularly, but those people have to find their own way to cope. Whatever Fish’s method of coping may be, Bleszinski hopes that the Fez developer will return to the industry.
As Bleszinski puts it, the industry needs people like Fish.
“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,” said Bleszinski.
“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!'”
If you’re interested in reading the letter in full, you can head over to the link above. While you’re here, why not share your thoughts on Fez II’s cancellation?