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Phil Fish backs away from Xbox for Fez 2

Phil Fish backs away from Xbox for Fez 2

Fri 21 Jun 2013 8:16am GMT / 4:16am EDT / 1:16am PDT
PublishingDevelopment

Sequel to Xbox exclusive won't see release on a Microsoft platform over self-publishing policies

Phil Fish has ruled out the possibility of releasing Fez 2 on Xbox One, despite it being a sequel to one of Xbox Live's most admired indie exclusives.

When asked by Polygon about possible platforms for Fez 2, Fish unequivocally stated, "not Xbox." The outspoken Canadian designer went on to state a strong preference for the PlayStation 4.

"PS4 seems to be doing everything right," Fish said. "It's too early to tell how everything is going to unfold, but their heart definitely seems to be in the right place. Which is a weird thing to say when talking about giant monolithic corporation, but there's a handful of people working at Sony today who are really trying to do some good.

"And whether or not I would develop for it comes down to how the platform holder treats me. With Microsoft they've made it painfully clear they don't want my ilk on their platform. I can't even self-publish there. Whereas on PS4, I can. It's that simple. Microsoft won't let me develop for their console. But Sony will."

Fish is the second prominent indie developer to speak out against Xbox. Yesterday, Skulls Of The Shogun developer Apocalypse Productions described the litany of problems that arose from its exclusivity deal with Microsoft, including technical issues and late payments.

After the release of Fez, Fish encountered his own problems with Xbox regarding the cost of releasing patches for the game. Fish was highly critical of Microsoft at the time, ultimately choosing not to use revenue for the game to pay for the fixes - a decision to which GamesIndustry International columnist Rob Fahey took exception.

Now that Microsoft has reversed its stance on DRM and the role of physical media for the Xbox One, the prohibitive stance on self-publishing is arguably the clearest difference between it and Sony going into the next generation. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will perform another u-turn before the launch of the console.

9 Comments

Thomas Dolby
Project Manager / Lead Programmer

318 253 0.8
Can't say this news will shock many. I'd call him crazy (or crazier) if he went back to them on Xbox One.

Posted:9 months ago

#1

Christopher Bowen
Editor in Chief

393 503 1.3
I have a low opinion of Phil Fish, but I can't really argue with him on this front.

Something notable that was pointed out a few days ago: it used to be that no one would speak openly against Microsoft even a couple of years ago because they didn't want to offend the industry leader. Now? It's a pile-on, and people are naming names.

Posted:9 months ago

#2

Steve Nicholls
Programmer

69 31 0.4
He's not crazy just doesn't know how to act like a grown up.

Microsoft have however made a big mistake but who knows maybe they will 180 this also.

Posted:9 months ago

#3

Barrie Tingle
Live Producer

337 102 0.3
I'm a little surprised about all this "self publishing" thing.
PlayStation seems to be adding an Indie Store to PSN for the PS4 which is like the Indie Channel on Xbox Live and as far as I know Microsoft said that wouldn't change. You just can't self publish on Xbox Live Arcade from what I have been reading which is a good thing when you see what fills the Indie Channel right now.

If your game is good and if Microsoft isn't going to help publish then just look into companies like IndiePub who publish Indie games on Xbox Live like the recently released Storm.

Posted:9 months ago

#4

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

962 1,160 1.2
It's worth noting that you can also self publish on both 3DS and Wii U.

Posted:9 months ago

#5

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,992 900 0.5
@Nicholas: That and... Fez would make a mighty fine Wii U and 3DS game...

Posted:9 months ago

#6

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

764 996 1.3
Now that Microsoft has reversed its stance on DRM and the role of physical media for the Xbox One, the prohibitive stance on self-publishing is arguably the clearest difference between it and Sony going into the next generation
I know you said arguably Matt but I still think the clearest difference is the $100 price variance, atleast to the general public. However, on this site it's probably a toss up.

Posted:9 months ago

#7

Mo Henry Bug
Writer

4 1 0.3
I've got Fez on my xbox360. Strange to say but I'm happy to get Fez 2 if it were on ps4.
Except for the fact this means I have to buy another console, but I was planning on getting the ps4 anyway - selling point was the amount of games announced that I would actually want to play. Wait a sequel, how would that work?

Posted:9 months ago

#8

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

713 491 0.7
"And whether or not I would develop for it comes down to how the platform holder treats me"

He is right. I got my save-data for FEZ corrupted and he openly said he would not patch the game. That is the reason I'm no longer trusting his studio.

I could also add that Japaneses games may be "crap", but it's crap that gets patched when your costumers are having problems...

Posted:9 months ago

#9

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