Fez sells 200,000 copies on XBLA

"Everyday we get far more love mail than hate mail"

Polytron's Phil Fish has revealed that Fez has sold 200,000 copies on Xbox Live Arcade since its release a year ago.

"Since it came out last year, FEZ has now sold 200,000 units on XBLA alone. Which is completely fucking crazy when you think about it," said Fish.

"The game really found its audience (or the audience found it?). Everyday we get far more love mail than hate mail. Every other day people send us fan art, or a picture of a Gomez cake, or a quilt they made, a Drawing, a plushie. seeing people's notebooks filled with deconstructions of the puzzles and mysteries I had so much fun putting together has been a particularly rewarding experience."

The puzzle game's development faced a series of delays after funding and legal issues, and the later stages were featured in Indie Game: The Movie. On release it won praise from critics and in 2012 was Eurogamer's Game of the Year.

Fez programmer Renaud Bédard also returned to comment on the news.

"Even though I left Polytron a while ago, FEZ is that kind of elastic string that pulls you back every once in a while. I've been hard at work on the PC version and I'm very happy that the game will finally reach a broader audience."

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Latest comments (18)

gi biz ;, 9 years ago
I remember this guy! He's the one who, at a public conference, said Japanese suck! He's the same guy who made some silly game that I won't bother looking at! It's a bit disappointing to read that Eurogamer gave space to such a person though.
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Lindsay Cox Games Programmer, Mediatonic9 years ago
It is very easy to criticise, but he actually made a game from start to finish that he wanted to make. It may have taken him a long time, but at least he did it. Many have tried to do it and many have failed. I think he deserves the space as making the game and releasing it with just two of them on XBLA is a great feat in itself.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Lindsay Cox on 16th April 2013 10:23am

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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend9 years ago
Guess Fish isn't on your Christmas card list then Mr Kwan. :D

EDIT: Mr Kwan has been MODERATED!!!!

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 15th April 2013 3:02pm

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Show all comments (18)
Rob Jessop R&D Programmer, Crytek9 years ago
Michele that's unfair. He did not say that Japanese suck, which has racist connotations. Fish said in a reply to a question that Japanese games suck. He later retracted that statement, clarified his opinion and apologised to the developer he was speaking to at the time.

In any case his opinion on games shouldn't bar him from being interviewed; this story is important as it tells us about how a landmark XBLA game fared.
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Lindsay Cox Games Programmer, Mediatonic9 years ago
I agree with Rob, Michelle is being unfair. I am not sure why the comments are being quite so critical when some of you haven't even looked at his game.
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Jack Nilssen Independent Game Developer, Dark Acre9 years ago
FEZ is an excellent game & Fish is one of the best indie self-promoters in the business.

He's reasonably wealthy now after chasing his dream for years, I expect he'll become evermore so after the wider release of his opus, especially once freed from the draconian restrictions of Microsoft/X360.

He's the Kanye West of videogames.
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Ken Barnes Editor, Pure Xbox9 years ago
Michele: Eurogamer gave space to "such a person" because that person made a very, VERY good videogame.

Also, how can you call the game "silly" if you haven't even bothered looking at it? How does your comment have any more merit than his "Japanese games suck" one?

Can we call the game you're working on "silly" without playing it? Would that be acceptable to you?

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Ken Barnes on 15th April 2013 1:34pm

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Paul Jace Merchandiser 9 years ago
Everyday we get far more love mail than hate mail.
And the same thing can be said about this forum Mr. Fish. You are getting far more love than hate, deservedly so:)
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Tim Ogul Illustrator 9 years ago
Yeah, Fez was a brilliantly designed game, a game within a game within a game, really. I loved it and very much look forward to whatever he intends to do next.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 9 years ago
I agree. I think the game is a master piece.

I've shown the film Indie Game the Movie to many groups of people since its release, some people fell in love with Fish during it and some people hated him. But no one denies he's a passionate developer who injected real soul into his game.
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gi biz ;, 9 years ago
I can't believe at what I read. I won't try his game because I think he's a racist. He said "japanese games suck" or whatever right in the face of a japanese guy at a public conference, causing him to leave in embarassement. If you've never been insulted for your nationality then you're lucky and you won't probably understand, but I can tell you it's not funny at all. Sure I don't think that trolling against his game here makes any justice to anybody, but I don't see why I should show any respect either. He may be a skilled programmer/businessman, but that doesn't make him a good person to me. Then of course he said he was sorry, because of the many people looking at this incident and the interest he had in marketing a good image of his game, but I can't think of myself coming up with such a statement in front of anyone in the first place. I like to choose who I give my money to, and I won't give a cent to a racist like him. If you think that only the quality of the product matters then go ahead, everybody is free to give their money to whoever they like, but please spare me the "it's not a bad guy it was just a joke and he said I'm sorry" part.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by gi biz on 16th April 2013 9:56am

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Lindsay Cox Games Programmer, Mediatonic9 years ago
"Or whatever", hmmm. I don't think he was trying to be racist, he should have worded it better, but I think he was probably commenting on the decline of quality of Japanese games, albiet in an in your face way to someone who is Japanese. Which I agree is a bit out of order, but again I don't think racist. Fair enough if you don't want to play his game, but the phrasing "gave such space to a person" is unfair when he has accomplished more than most.
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Pete Leonard , Amiqus9 years ago
Not only was FEZ and excellent game with an interesting twist on a tried and tested mechanic, it proved something that so many larger scale games are afraid of trying.

New things. An innovative experience. Something that taps into a mental mindset every person has - Curiosity.

The way the world is so simple yet so layered with huge amounts of information (..........makes sense after some hours of play to those with no experience of it yet), the unusual and intriguing nature of the puzzles and the balance it gets with this.

Man it's one of the most interesting games I ever played.

I also think it is a case of positive word of mouth works wonders. Even when I started going back to it a few weeks ago (at 175% now) I always noticed the total number of players edging up a few thousand each successive play.

If you make something truly unique, well made, well thought out, you'll grab the interest of the journo's, the online stores and you'll get people talking about it - The Room, Year Walk and Mark of the Ninja also achieved this (although MOTN wasn't quite so different and I don;t think it's done as well but I hope I am wrong).

Sounds like a fantasy but there are still TOO many major success stories for the games that offer somethng TOTALLY different (Minecraft anyone?) not just the ones that add a new layer on a tried and tested formula (with brands that have gobbled up that market).
He went through the wringer on this too as it was a super difficult dev process with all sorts of blockers.

Just my two cents worth.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Pete Leonard on 16th April 2013 1:14pm

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Alex Game Designer & Developer 9 years ago
I remember watching this guy tell his story about FEZ in Indie Game: The Movie and he did seem like he had a bit of a disconnected, almost crude, demeanor to him judging from his lack of enthusiasm during the film and his large amounts of dull, life-threatening, sarcasm. But I'm sure he is a good guy and I cannot judge whether he is or not from a documentary but I will indeed say that his demeanor could be derived from the fact that he has spent most of his early 20's designing and creating this fantastically evolved world in which he put his very soul into finishing. And due to that dedication and hard work he put into Fez, along with it's publicly acclaimed game play, I will buy Fez and probably end up enjoying an Indie hit that is excellently dressed with individualized design mechanics and a custom art style that can only be created by the mind of an individual who truly sees video games as art.

He almost reminds me of Jesse Eisenburg's portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. With his sarcastic, IDGAF attitude but also on the verge of creating something great.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alex on 16th April 2013 3:25pm

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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises9 years ago
My favorite Phil Fish quote: "@superdrive08 it's a console game. for consoles. PCs are for spreadsheets."
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 9 years ago
@Michele--An American game developer saying "Japanese games suck" is no more racst than Europeans saying "American Football sucks". It may have come out wrong(he could have said he doesn't like the majority of modern Japenese games, for instance) but I saw no racial undertones in his statement.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 16th April 2013 10:53pm

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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus9 years ago
Fez is a big rarity to me: it's one of those games that looks great, but I won't give it the time of day because I so despise the person behind it that I won't give him the validation of my money.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 9 years ago
Oh, I dunno. Plenty of really creative people throughout history have issues and personality traits that make them highly unlikable in person, but their work has stood up over time. Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin, for example... I never liked him after reading a biography a long time ago, but his work is quite amazing.

That said, I haven't played Fez because I have a few dead 360's here out of warranty and even if I wanted to, I'd say I (currently) dislike Microsoft's badly made console more than I do the work of Mr. Fish.
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