microsoft was our publisher on X360, and they did NOTHING. no promotion. no festivals. not a single mention in a newsletter or conference.— PHIL FISH (@PHIL_FISH) June 27, 2013
Fez creator Phil Fish has taken to Twitter to explain in greater and more profane detail why he's not interested in working with Microsoft no matter which policies the company changes.
The conflict between Phil Fish and Microsoft is usually attributed to Microsoft's demand for "tens of thousands of dollars" to issue a patch for Fez on Xbox Live, needed to fix a rare but infuriating save-killing bug. Because of that huge fee, the patch was never issued, the game remained broken and everyone went away mad. But in a Twitter blowup today following reports that Microsoft has now dropped those fees, Fish made it clear that there's a lot more behind his refusal to work with Microsoft on future projects than just that patch business.
The wheels started turning when Fish wrote that he'd contact Microsoft to see if its new policy regarding patches is retroactive, which would presumably allow him to issue an update for Fez. But before long, he'd moved on to other aspects of his experience that had nothing to do with the patch business.
so forgive me if im not too excited at the prospect of working with MS again even if it's just for one patch.— PHIL FISH (@PHIL_FISH) June 27, 2013
"microsoft was our publisher on X360, and they did NOTHING. no promotion. no festivals. not a single mention in a newsletter or conference. they put us up on their shitty dashboard and somehow fuck that up too," Fish tweeted. "they put us up on the game marketplace WITH NO COVER IMAGE. the file was missing for a whole week. the first week. the most important week. when you went to buy fez, there was just a big empty rectangle with a file missing icon in the middle. for a whole week. that's what we got from our publisher microsoft game studios."
man, just thinking back on it makes me SO FUCKING ANGRY. thanks for nothing, microsoft.— PHIL FISH (@PHIL_FISH) June 27, 2013
Comparing his experience to that of Hotline Miami developer Dennaton Games, Fish continued, "look at what devolver did for hotline miami. ads everywhere, website skins, festivals, PROMOTION. that's what a publisher is supposed to do. we didnt have SHIT. i had to do EVERYTHING myself. we had no budget for advertising whatsoever. nothing."
i feel bad for the last fucker who paid 40,000$ to make MS look good.— PHIL FISH (@PHIL_FISH) June 27, 2013
It's an amusing blowout, in a juvenile, "swearing is funny" sort of way, but it's also an interesting insight into just how wrong things went between Fish and Microsoft. And not to be overlooked is the statement that despite it all, Fish is looking into the possibility of issuing a patch for Fez despite his distaste for the idea. It likely won't happen - Fish called it a "long shot" - but better late than never, right?