/ Rare Gamer | A Phil Fish in a Sea of Gamers

A Phil Fish in a Sea of Gamers

There's this guy out there named Phil Fish. No, he's not a Nickelodeon cartoon. He's a game designer. In 2012 he created an indie platformer gem named FEZ. Ever since, Mr. Fish has been working full time at reminding us that he created FEZ to spite mainstream AAA game development. Or something. Look, the guy's a jerk. His career is a PR nightmare. He insults his followers and takes sides on issues that have nothing to do with him. Self-important is a word that comes to mind, but alas my purpose here today isn't to disparage his fully-disparaged name. It's to defend him, actually. Recently, Phil Fish announced his official retirement from the game industry. For good, by the sounds of it. In light of a recent (alleged) hacking of a personal web account of his, Fish decided he was fed up with the hacking, whining, lying, conniving gaming community. He decried gamers near and far and wished the best of luck to those ambitious and endeavoring enough to take up the gauntlet he once so proudly wore. He's expressed his disdain for game consumers before. He's cited a vehement and short-fused consumer base. One that sends out death threats to Call of Duty developers. One that petitions to have Devil May Cry reboots pulled from shelves across the US. One that tries to organize chants at EVO to fire Masahiro Sakurai. Phil Fish has said good-bye to all of that. Can you blame him? This is hardly the kind of guy I'd defend considering his vicious tongue toward Twitter users. At the very least, I can respect his level of conviction. Some conceit is required for the artistic ego to stay afloat. But I really understand where he's coming from here. Why should he stay? What stake does he have in making FEZ 2? Why bother with this industry? Why bother when we have Zoe Quinn? She starts a campaign for a text-based indie adventure on Steam Greenlight, accuses anons of assaulting her gender, and uses that supposed example of culturally-ingrained sexism to light the fuse of SJW's to propel her game into infinity and beyond. To top it off, she sleeps with game journalists behind her boyfriend's back to promote her own game through their blogs. It's vile and disgusting. And let's not get into Dina moderating Mighty No. 9 communities to push whatever BS agenda she has. We've heard enough about that. The fans of these games aren't much better. Remember back when Bayonetta 2 was announced? In fall of 2012, Nintendo told the world they'd be publishing the sequel to the beloved 2010 Platinum beat-'em-up. Naturally, this second demonic romp would be a Wii U exclusive. As soon as the news broke, gamers across the web cried out in sorrowful, angry bellows. Apparently the Wii U isn't "hardcore" enough. Apparently a system that can play Arkham City, No More Heroes, La Mulana, and the upcoming Devil's Third is too "kiddie". I guess diversifying content is a bad thing. These people need to take an entry-level business class. Or maybe it will be too late, since they said they'd kill themselves. Yes, some people were apparently so disgusted that a system they don't want to buy now owns a game they want that continuing to live on the mortal plane is too much weight to bear. The less childish ones said they'd quit gaming. You should all be on your knees praising Jubileus that the game is even being made at all. Ungrateful butt wipes. Maybe those people should do the world a favor and actually do the deed. Who's stopping them? Hopefully they'll give the right idea to those claiming that Nintendo is homophobic for not allowing gay relationships in Tomodachi Life. For Christ's sake, guys, it's a silly Mii zoo. Do you know anything about gender dynamics in Japan? If not, they why are you even playing Japanese games? I could call out awful gamers and indie devs all day. However, the crown of most butt-clenchingly pitiful displays of business acumen goes to producers. Remember in summer of 2013 when Microsoft announced the Xbox One? George Orwell was shedding tears from heaven when a major hardware and software company actually announced that their new console would allow only one console to play a specific game license at one time. The age of sharing games between friends had ended. It was a time of an always-online Kinect scanning your living room for logos and listening for label names to create specialized ads on your console. It was the end of gaming as a source of entertainment. It was the dawn of multi-media advertizing machines. Granted, the Xbox One and its new reign master Phil Spencer spent a year reversing these policies and converting the new console into something less Machiavellian. When virtually the whole world is united against your product, you should probably make a few changes. It's just the principle of the matter. At one point in time, there was actually a board of investors who actually had such little respect for its consumers that it placed millions of dollars into such a device. That idea sickens me. It's loathsome. It's vile. And it's not exclusive to greedy AAA American game makers, either. One of Capcom's more recent additions into its extensive fighting game catalog is Street Fighter x Tekken. The retail price: $60 USD. Pretty standard for a game like this. The price for DLC packages that are ON THE DISC THAT YOU ALREADY PAID FOR: $5 to $10. And the content wasn't even available for purchase for months. Also, Xbox 360 users can't play online tag-team matches, despite the advertising saying otherwise. Phil Fish, you may just be another shlub on the internet, but I can understand your choice. It's tough to trust this industry. It's just as tough for the industry to trust its consumers. With all these pirates and hackers fighting back against DRM security measures and nickel-and-diming. Nobody's really in the right. The internal politics of business, correctness, and artistic validity have descended to depths I never thought they could reach. It's not complex world affairs. It's not environmental preservation. It's not solving global poverty, stomping out AIDS, or quelling racial tensions. This is entertainment. These are toys. I'm being turned away more and more from high-end PC gaming and mainstream AAA publishing as the days and weeks pass. I want to give my business to companies like Nintendo, UbiArt, and Valve who don't seem so consumed by this purveying bull crap. I look at Legend of Zelda, at Child of Light, and at Half-Life and I see the works of human beings who want to sell a quality product. I don't see men in suits who want to steal my money. Perhaps I've been waiting tables for so long that any trust for humanity has well faded away. Everywhere I look in this market I see some wonderful potential for interactive entertainment being squashed by corporate apathy or poor consumer choices. I'm not mad that casual gamers buy the same Madden game every year (indirectly limiting variety). I'm mad that those gamers who are more knowledgeable and passionate spread hate instead of creativity. This medium is amazing. This industry is despicable.

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  1. Good article. One thing I should point out though, “UbiArt” isn’t a company, it’s a game engine. Owned by Ubisoft. Who, judging by things like yearly Assassin’s Creed and the glut of shitty Rabbids games, are the very definition of “men in suits who want your money”.

  2. Dang, you’re right. I guess what I meant was Ubisoft Montepelier.