Fish out of hot water
Fez was an absolutely ginormous hit for developer Phil Fish. A critical darling and indie sales success, many expected Fez to get a sequel soon after the original. It’s true that Fish did start work on a follow-up, but that ended up cancelled in very public fashion. Now, Fish is finally pulling back on the curtain on what happened.
Those who followed Fez back in the day might remember that Fez 2 was cancelled after Fish got into an argument with journalist Marcus Beer over Fez 2 not releasing on Xbox platforms. A nasty public back-and-forth led up to the cancellation announcement, but many had always believed something else was going on behind the scenes.
Fish sat down for an interview on the My Perfect Console podcast and shed some light on the situation. As many speculated, the Twitter feud was the straw that broke the camel’s back, rather than the main reason Fez 2 got scrapped.
“Obviously, I wasn’t feeling it to begin with. It felt like the thing to do, strike while the iron’s hot and make a sequel. That’s what you do in video games, you make a franchise. And the more I started working on that seriously, the less I was feeling it, and the more I was getting […] disillusioned with everything — even in my position of having just had a successful video game, having to follow up on that was a lot of pressure.
Maybe it was a bit of an out. [It] was the last straw, where I was already thinking about doing all those things and there was just this one moment where, you know what, fuck it, I’m not doing that.
We weren’t that advanced, we didn’t have a whole lot to show other than the logo we showed. I certainly had concepts and concept art and things like that, but we didn’t have anything playable. We were in pre-conceptual phase for the game when we announced it. Deciding to walk away was pretty easy, because there was no real investment at that point. It hadn’t really cost us anything in time or money or energy, and there was nothing really to be super attached to.”
While Fez 2 isn’t likely to ever happen, you can still enjoy the original in all of its glory on Switch. The game is currently on the Switch eShop for $15.