Fez 2 not coming to Xbox because 'Microsoft won't let' it

Although Fez debuted on Xbox 360, developer Phil Fish has no plans to bring the recently-announced sequel to Microsoft platforms. When asked which platforms Fez 2 will appear on, he said: "not Xbox."

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Although Fez debuted on Xbox 360, developer Phil Fish has no plans to bring the recently-announced sequel to Microsoft platforms. When asked which platforms Fez 2 will appear on, he said: "not Xbox."

Fish has been vocal against Microsoft after the publisher made it difficult (and expensive) to release a crucial patch for his game. On PC, "the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us," Fish explained.

The lack of self-publishing, forced exclusivity (when publishing through Microsoft), and expensive title updates seem to have Fish steering clear of the platform. "With Microsoft they've made it painfully clear they don't want my ilk on their platform," Fish told Polygon. "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 isn't the only high-profile indie developer to debut on Xbox and move onto a rival platform. Braid developer Jon Blow's new game The Witness is a PS4 console exclusive for many of the same reasons.

It's clear that Fez 2 will ship on PC, and it seems incredibly likely that PS4 will host the game as well, with Fish pointing out that "PS4 seems to be doing everything right." He added that "one is having a big love-in orgy and the other is doing yet another f-cking Minecraft port."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 20, 2013 11:00 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Fez 2 not coming to Xbox because 'Microsoft won't let' it.

    Although Fez debuted on Xbox 360, developer Phil Fish has no plans to bring the recently-announced sequel to Microsoft platforms. When asked which platforms Fez 2 will appear on, he said: "not Xbox."

    • reply
      June 20, 2013 11:03 AM

      This is a pretty good feud

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      June 20, 2013 11:03 AM

      Right after the huge negative article about Skulls as well. Not a good week to be Microsoft: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/06/20/the-sorry-saga-of-skulls-of-the-shogun-windows-8/

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      June 20, 2013 11:04 AM

      Supporting 3rd party Devs much?

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      June 20, 2013 11:04 AM

      That's probably not entirely true. Fez was a MS exclusive before, he's probably just not willing to do that again.

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        June 20, 2013 11:08 AM

        It would probably be more accurate for him to say that Microsoft won't let Fez come to the XBox with all of the stipulations that Fish wants (self-published, free patches, no exclusivity). But given that these were all issues he dealt with for the first game, I don't know why this would be a surprise.

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          June 20, 2013 11:19 AM

          Yea, I'm sure he can get Fez 2 on the Xbox, he's just trying to inflict change in their self-published policy.

          I can't say that I'm a big fan of their policy, but at the same time there hasn't been a shortage of games to play on the Xbox 360.

          Regardless, I'm never buying a title he publishes on any platform ever.

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            June 20, 2013 11:36 AM

            But all of those games are on other consoles. I've stopped buying indie games for the x-box because I know they'll end up on Steam where the devs won't have issues with stuff like patches.

            Their attitude towards indie devs is also why if I'm going to buy a new console, it's going to be a PS4 over the XB1.

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              June 20, 2013 11:48 AM

              Oh, I agree they need to re-evaluate their policies. But Fish is being a bit sensationalist here. He started picking at them as soon as Minecraft seemed to be getting treatment he felt he deserved.

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            June 20, 2013 11:59 AM

            Regardless, I'm never buying a title he publishes on any platform ever.

            why

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              June 20, 2013 12:15 PM

              I'm guessing because he trolls twitter and people get all sandyvag about it.

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              June 20, 2013 12:21 PM

              Because of his attitude, and the only way to voice my displeasure with his attitude is to not buy or play his games.

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                June 20, 2013 12:23 PM

                Do you also ignore most art, music, movies, and books because of the artist's attitude?

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                  June 20, 2013 12:24 PM

                  If the artist tells most of his customers to fuck off, yes.

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                  June 20, 2013 12:42 PM

                  Hell yes. If someone's a dick, don't buy their shit.

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                    June 20, 2013 12:48 PM

                    So you only like a handful of bands, directors, and developers?

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                      June 20, 2013 12:56 PM

                      Depends what your idea of someone being a dick is. I'd wager my idea of it is at odds with the rest of the Shack and probably most other people.

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                June 20, 2013 12:27 PM

                i guess that's valid, but i've never felt like i had to approve of a developer's attitude to play their games. jonathan blow is a total pretentious douche but he made an absolutely amazing game. lots of devs are dicks. are they obligated not only to create fantastic products but also be a jolly swell chap on top of that?

                shit, all sorts of artists and creators in all media are assholes and produce quality work.

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                  June 20, 2013 12:33 PM

                  People being a douche is not what I took issue with. Fish specifically was a douche to his customers, that I took issue with.

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                    June 20, 2013 12:35 PM

                    Phil Fish is bipolar at best. In the Indie Game documentary he comes across as a mostly sympathetic troubled artist but I'm thinking in real life the deal is that he's basically somewhat nutty and the Internet has siezed on the times when he's gone off his meds. He also never apologizes.

                    He's basically Derek Smart back when Derek Smart was incoherent and had only delivered one game.

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                      June 20, 2013 12:38 PM

                      I've never bought or played a Derek Smart game either.

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                  June 20, 2013 12:36 PM

                  I don't get the attitude that Jonathan Blow is pretentious. He seems like a pretty reserved guy. He only gives opinions on things when he's asked directly. Does just being a quiet guy who thinks a lot about academic subjects mean you're pretentious?

                  Fish has always been very public about his opinions, and while you can argue about whether they're intelligent or not, he seems to go out of his way to be abrasive and loud.

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                    June 20, 2013 12:40 PM

                    Yeah, I've never gotten that one, either.

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                      June 20, 2013 12:42 PM

                      I think generally people on the Internet think you're a douche if you disagree with them.

                      Because they're idiots

                  • reply
                    June 20, 2013 12:47 PM

                    Fez was made by Phil Fish (he of the PCs are for spreadsheets quote, among others). Jonathon Blow made Braid and is working on The Witness, which is not coming to XbOne.

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                    June 20, 2013 3:05 PM

                    "Pretentious" in the context of video gaming is probably a compliment.

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                      June 20, 2013 4:45 PM

                      Seriously. I'd rather have more game developers like Jonathan Blow than CliffyB.

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                  June 20, 2013 12:46 PM

                  You have to be an asshole to be able to stand all the bullshit and abuse content creators put up with thanks to the internet. You gotta be an asshole who ignores everyone and doesn't give a shit or else you will bury yourself in criticism and never work again.

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                June 20, 2013 1:29 PM

                Right. We all know it's because he badmouthed Microsoft and you are planted firmly up their asses.

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                  June 20, 2013 1:46 PM

                  Nope, I totally agree with his points, since a lot of them can be corroborated with other developers, about the Microsoft Indie process.

                  I just think he was antagonistic to the very people he wanted to buy his game and it turned me off from his game entirely.

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              June 20, 2013 3:05 PM

              Fish doesn't have PR personnel to filter his opinions through, so we hear what he actually thinks.

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        June 20, 2013 11:43 AM

        It's true for all intents and purposes; MS is particularly hostile to indies. Barring giving up a publisher's cut for no reason, he has no path. http://penny-arcade.com/report/article/xbox-one-vs.-indies-microsoft-bullies-developers-into-signing-with-publishe

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          June 20, 2013 11:57 AM

          What purpose do publishers serve in a digital delivery era if you can fund development without them? For all the hype MS placed on online purchase and cloud service, it seems strange they would insist on keeping publishers around.

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            June 20, 2013 12:07 PM

            Promotion and seed funding. That's all that is left to them. Some of the larger ones have other resources they can offer (like EA offering access to Frostbyte 2/ DICE resources). Also a corporate Unreal license.

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          June 20, 2013 12:18 PM

          Just ask FarSight and no table updates since Pinball Arcade was released.

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      June 20, 2013 11:34 AM

      I think it's time for people to just stop feeding MS this criticism. At best it's used by MS to craft a fake mea culpa. Vote with your wallet.

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      June 20, 2013 12:01 PM

      Uh oh. What happens now? Who do we hate more? Phil Fish or Microsoft?

      Shacknews might implode with this!

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        June 20, 2013 1:52 PM

        It is easy to hate both equally.

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        June 20, 2013 2:02 PM

        It's like Hitler and Idi Amin in the Thunderdome. Fingers crossed for a Double KO!!

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      June 20, 2013 12:15 PM

      I don't think that MS won't let it - he just doesn't want to pay for it.

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        June 20, 2013 1:48 PM

        that's pretty much what he's saying.

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          June 20, 2013 2:01 PM

          Not quite true: http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/article/xbox-one-vs.-indies-microsoft-bullies-developers-into-signing-with-publishe

          "To explain why, I caught up with Brian Provinciano, who released the game Retro City Rampage on damned near every service and console there is. He gave an illuminating talk about what he learned from the experience, and he’s become an outspoken critic of Microsoft’s policies.
          ...
          “Like any publisher, Microsoft Studios takes more from you than a simple platform revshare,” he said. “In addition to their publisher cut, Microsoft Studios also requires at minimum a timed exclusivity, so you won't be able to release on other platforms day one.”

          So you end up with less of the revenue for yourself, Microsoft gets a cut as the publisher and the platform holder, and you have to be exclusive to the platform for a set amount of time. Or you can go through a third-party publisher, since Microsoft will only allow companies that release retail games to have slots on Xbox Live.
          ...

          But you can go with a third-party publisher for your Xbox Live release if you want to avoid being forced into timed exclusivity. Here’s the catch: Most publishers can’t, or won’t, sign a deal to publish just on Xbox Live. They want a cut of everything your game sells, on every platform.

          “They feel that if they're publishing your game, they want to be the end-all-be-all publisher,” Provinciano said. “They want to publish all platforms, even those which you could self-publish on.”"


          That's why.

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            June 20, 2013 2:46 PM

            That was exactly my point - it was being presented as "I want it to be on Xbox but they won't let me!" when in reality no, he could he just doesn't want to deal with their pricing and contract structure. I can appreciate that but he should be honest as to the reason.

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              June 20, 2013 3:53 PM

              Take a look at the replies below yours. He's being smart, as are most other indies, to avoid MS right now. If you want more, you can read up on it on RPS. They have an article with other indies talking about how unfriendly MS's been.

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              June 21, 2013 12:00 AM

              He doesn't want to sign with a publisher he doesn't need just to release on a platform that's going to be openly hostile to him supporting his game after it's released. Sounds to me like he's making the only responsible decision MS is allowing.

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            June 20, 2013 2:53 PM

            That sucks.

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            June 20, 2013 3:16 PM

            That is completely messed up and beyond stupid.

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            June 20, 2013 8:01 PM

            Only retail publishers may have XBLA slots; that's DUM. How does that do anything to promote an online ecosystem? This, and charging a five-figure sum for one title update (which is why Fez didn't get a second XBLA patch... http://www.shacknews.com/article/74881/fez-re-releasing-buggy-patch-due-to-cert-costs ..., and Silent Hill HD Collection had its patch canned: http://www.shacknews.com/article/75198/silent-hill-hd-collection-xbox-360-patch-scrapped ).

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              June 20, 2013 8:04 PM

              yeah why dont they let anybody publish whatever the hell they want and not bother with any qa

    • reply
      June 20, 2013 12:56 PM

      I'd like to see this guy on a version of Shark Tank

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      June 20, 2013 2:34 PM

      I want this game on my Vita!!!

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      June 20, 2013 4:39 PM

      Microsoft probably didn't suck his dick hard enough. Poor Fish. :(

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      June 20, 2013 5:03 PM

      PS4 is where the games will be. M$ has ever only wanted to Xbox line to be a toll gate on your access to entertainment. Bow down to the Kinect and pay tribute!

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      June 20, 2013 5:16 PM

      I wish the press would stop feeding this guy's narcissism, but I know he is too quotable an asshole not too. I might buy and play a game of his if he ever grows up; not holding out hope though.

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        June 20, 2013 7:12 PM

        He has a point. MS wouldn't let him release an update because he would have to pay to do the update is wonky.

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          June 20, 2013 8:33 PM

          If MS started allowing unlimited updates, console games would become the patch fests that PC games are. They don't want that, hence only one free update (make it count).

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            June 20, 2013 8:40 PM

            I can't remember the last time I actively patched a PC game. Maybe the original Deus Ex when I went back and played it last year.

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              June 20, 2013 8:46 PM

              Yep for downloadable games there is no justification. Especially for indie devs. This also allows indie devs to get off the ground financially with an alpha or beta release.

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              June 20, 2013 8:48 PM

              That's no the point. The point is to incentivize developers to spend the time on QA up front, so that you don't *need* patches.

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                June 20, 2013 11:38 PM

                I can't think of a game that hasn't needed patches. You're arguing for a system that doesn't work.

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            June 20, 2013 8:44 PM

            The way that most games release these days (i.e.: grind to hit the cert date), there's bound to be problems that have to go into the first patch, so it's sort of equivalent to the old days of "get it right the first time". After that, you have to pay a huge fee for a patch, and most indie devs can't afford it.

            As it is, most games right now don't get ENOUGH patches, because the devs are too busy working on DLC or the next game, and because of the expense of cert (especially 360 cert).

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            June 20, 2013 8:47 PM

            Then limit it to one patch per 2 months. One free update is an obscene barrier to indie devs.

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              June 20, 2013 9:23 PM

              It is unreasonable to ask that they get their shit reasonably right before they release. Its not like its a fixed platform that can be tested against or anything.

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                June 20, 2013 11:22 PM

                What's your deal? A one-to-two man team isn't going to catch all of the edge cases in a reasonably sized indie game. And what if they just want to add features?

                Have you ever written/shipped software or are you just talking out of your ass? Apple lets developers ship all the patches they want -- does that seem to be a bad thing or a successful thing to you?

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                  June 20, 2013 11:31 PM

                  Some platforms may think that buggy apps reflect poorly on the platform so they want to protect against that. This is a tradeoff, I'm not saying one is more right than the others, but let's not pretend that it's not a valid option to say that you want to enforce higher quality apps. Maybe that shuts out two-man teams who can't afford to ship quality software at first and need to use their customers as their (paying) QA staff, but that's still a valid tradeoff.

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                    June 20, 2013 11:41 PM

                    Clearly the best solution then is to arbitrarily create a scenario that encourages not fixing a broken game once it's been released.

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                    June 20, 2013 11:46 PM

                    Ok, so buggy apps reflect poorly on the platform. Why then would you arbitrarily create a scenario that encourages developers not to fix games that turn out to have bugs?

                    Guess what? Bugs happen regardless of how much QA you do. Making it prohibitive to fix those bugs is flat-out stupid. Especially when this restriction doesn't actually impact anyone except indies. Big publishers have far more than enough cash to just pay the patch fee without even thinking about it. This hurts the little guy and the consumer and doesn't effectively reduce the number of bugs you see or the number of patches you get on large games anyway.

                    All it does is make it more likely that the indie game you bought that turned out to have a bug that slipped through QA won't get fixed. Sounds like a fucking marvelous plan there.

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            June 20, 2013 8:48 PM

            "console games would become the patch fests that PC games are"

            hey, guess what: too late

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            June 20, 2013 8:49 PM

            You could still limit a dev to, say, one patch per quarter without attaching the huge monetary cost.

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              June 20, 2013 8:54 PM

              Maybe. But even rate limiting it would undermine the point: to ensure that three's a significant financial penalty to being lax with you QA efforts.

              Perhaps having more rigorous certification would do it, but then that would have to be even more expensive...

              Or they could just let the games crash and have tons of updates a la phones and tablets. People don't seem to mind to be paid beta testers all that much in those spaces, so perhaps that's the right tradeoff instead of trying to force people to get it right the first time.

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                June 20, 2013 9:06 PM

                Yes, people don't mind paying lower prices for great games that may still need some tweaking. You've cited plenty of wildly successful platforms in this very thread as examples of this.

                Have you ever played Kerbal Space Program? That game is at time hilariously broken, and it's also one of the best things in the world. I've gotten the $20 I spent on it back in enjoyment several times over, and it's still very much in active development.

                It's great that there are platforms for projects like that, and I am happy to support them. If MS doesn't want to open the door to that, then fine, but I think they're missing out.

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                  June 20, 2013 10:23 PM

                  I kinda like that console games are high quality (at least technically, I may not love every game). Maybe I'm missing some minor games that way, but at least I don't have to worry that shit isn't going to work.

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                    June 20, 2013 10:57 PM

                    That's your personal preference and you're certainly entitled to it. If you're buying $60 disc versions of games you should have the expectation that they should 100% work all the time. That's not the only model that works though. But again if MS wants to shut out that segment then more (or less) power to them.

                    Don't worry about missing those piddly "minor" games. They're buggy pieces of crap you don't want to waste you time with.

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                    June 20, 2013 11:49 PM

                    Except you still do have to worry that shit isn't going to work because shit breaks and needs to get patched all the time regardless of these restrictions.

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                June 21, 2013 12:16 AM

                You seem to vastly overestimate the abilities of QA. Even massive outsourced publisher QA departments don't find every bug, because it's a team of (At most) a couple of hundred versus several hundreds of thousands people playing it once the game is released.

                Things slip through. Restricting patches will only mean that once these problems ARE found, that the developers will have their hands tied to do anything about it.

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            June 21, 2013 12:02 AM

            Apple, Sony, and Nintendo manage this just fine. Microsoft's policy here is insanely restrictive and inexcusable by now, given that everyone else seems to cope.

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              June 21, 2013 12:07 AM

              Indeed. MS is free to be hostile to developers all they want but when indie titles stop appearing on xbox in favor of everything else, people shouldn't act all surprised or call those developers names. Microsoft is basically saying they don't want indies on their platform and everyone else is welcoming them with open arms.

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              June 21, 2013 12:43 AM

              Yep, given that none of the hypothetical issues seem like actual problems on any other platform, what MS is doing seems pretty indefensible nowadays. I think there was a time when the policy served a purpose but they really need to adapt at this point.

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        June 20, 2013 8:12 PM

        Yeah he's quotable but he also happened to make an awesome game, so it's not like he has no credibility.

        I must have missed some of the awful things this guy has done because the hatred just seems way over the top.

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      June 20, 2013 9:29 PM

      How many of you folks who froth at the mouth any time Phil Fish is mentioned have played Fez?

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        June 20, 2013 9:35 PM

        How much of Fez must one play to justify their mouth frothyness?

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          June 20, 2013 9:44 PM

          I'm not requiring any particular number of minutes, here, Haxim, I'm just wondering if people are projecting their dislike of the game onto its author or if people who don't care about Fez are just mad because of what he said about PCs. I think Fez is a fantastic, delightful game. It might be the first new game I've completed in 2013. I don't really care who made it or what they have to say. Artists are crazy. It's part of what makes them artists.

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        June 20, 2013 11:23 PM

        He can come across as a precious little princess sometimes, but I enjoyed his contribution to the E3 bombcast he was on.

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          June 20, 2013 11:53 PM

          I had never actually heard him talk and then he was on Unprofessional Fridays and I sorta expected to hate him or something but he came across as just an intelligent guy. I guess he can talk out of his ass sometimes but he seemed like someone worth paying attention to even if you have to filter out bullshit occasionally.

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            June 21, 2013 12:39 AM

            Yeah whenever i've seen him on GB he seemed like a regular funny nice guy.

            Jesus nerds like to get their panties in a twist about this kind of shit.

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        June 21, 2013 12:02 AM

        Having read only a few of his quotes, plus from what I saw on Indie Game: The Movie, Fish comes across as a big ole bag-o-dicks. That said, I fucking loved FEZ. A bit buggy in places, but an amazing game with great controls, amazing worlds, and a stellar soundtrack. I'm looking forward to what Polygon will create with FEZ 2.

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        June 21, 2013 12:47 AM

        I watched indie game the movie and the guy is a total dick if you ask me, and I never played his game. I bet it's great but I would feel dirty playing it because I don't like the guy behind it. Tommy and Edmund are awesome guys and I prefer to play their game.