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BLOG: Blame Microsoft? Why Phil Fish needs to switch perspective on the Fez fiasco

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Polytron co-founder Phil Fish

If Phil Fish just doesn't want to cough up the money to fix a game-breaking bug in Fez, then fine. It is apparently his choice whether he wants to repair a faulty product that he assembled over five years.

The real issue is that Fish doesn't want to portray himself truthfully.

Fish is not paying for the patch because he'd rather have the "tens of thousands of dollars" than spend it on something that would help only a few hundred (or perhaps a few thousand) customers. That's the hard truth of the matter, and it's an understandable position for him to take.

Yet the Polytron man wants to remind everyone that, despite his own financial interests incontestably being prioritised over the interests of his customers, he is apparently not anything like the publishing powerhouses that he so routinely wants to distance himself from.

He insists that he is a small indie man of the big indie spirit - a star member of that new breed of developers who enjoy a closer relationship with their fans and habitually condemn everything that glitters in the games business.

So he blames Microsoft - possibly the easiest target in entertainment since Walt Disney - for charging the tens of thousands of dollars to certify the patch.

Microsoft's custom of charging developers for game patches is certainly a key issue that deserves debate, so it's a shame that the little old outspoken Phil Fish decided not to discuss the matter at any point in the past five years. Not when he started working on Fez, and not when he signed an exclusive publishing contract with evil old Microsoft.

How unfortunate he must feel for being clobbered by a responsibility to repair and restore a game he has sold more than 100,000 copies of.

I suppose he now knows how all those evil people at EA, Activision and Ubisoft feel. At least, he knows how they feel before they pay up.

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