Cliff Bleszinski tells Fez-designer Phil Fish to "come back"
One possible advantage of making a very public retirement announcement is that otherwise invisible supporters begin to emerge from the shadows. Game designer Cliff Bleszinski, co-creator of Unreal Tournament and Gears of War, wants Fez-developer Phil Fish to re-think his decision leave the gaming industry. Fish announced Saturday he was cancelling a planned sequel to Fez and had reached "the end of a long, bloody campaign."
Bleszinski's comments, published yesterday in an open letter on Tumblr, largely revolve around balancing personal goals in a public space that can be, at times, incredibly brutal. Bleszinski recalled the reception he received as a budding 15-year-old programmer posting screen savers on bulletin boards. The criticism he got, even years ago, was biting and very personal, according to Bleszinski.
"My skin started to thicken, as did my resolve to do something with my life," he wrote.
Bleszinski, who last year stepped away from Epic Games after 20 years of game development, wrote that even negative feedback can be turned into "one big fireball of motivation inside of your belly."
"You don’t owe a damned thing to any gaming journalist," Bleszinski wrote. "We’ve seen the rise of many “Rush Limbaughs" in the gaming industry, people who do videos or podcasts digging a finger into an open wound that gets the gaming community going because, hits. You DO owe a great product to your community, something I hope you’ll resume doing some time in the near future. The industry needs people like you to speak with their hearts before their brains because I’m tired of hearing the PR approved appropriate response. I’m tired of games that feel like they’ve been developed by focus groups or clueless executives going “Hey that Call of Duty is big, we need one of those!"
"Besides, at the end of the day, that cycle of community feedback and crafting that big fireball is entirely too addictive. Come back, Phil. We miss you already. Maybe I’ll be right behind you, returning with Adamantium skin."
Hat tip, Eurogamer.