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Furious Fez creator hits out at Microsoft in Twitter rant

Phil Fish criticises Xbox publishing partner for apparent lack of support

Canadian indie dev Phil Fish has launched a public tirade against Microsoft for what he deems was inadequate publishing support from the Xbox manufacturer.

Microsoft signed a deal to co-publish of the acclaimed indie game Fez, but Fish has harboured anger against the Xbox firm and now, in a furious Twitter rant, has broken his silence on the matter.


He wrote: "Microsoft was our publisher on Xbox 360, 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.

"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."

He went on to compare the success of Fez with Hotline Miami, the indie crime-simulator released last year by boutique publisher Devolver Digital.

"Look at what Devolver did for Hotline Miami. Ads everywhere, website skins, festivals, PROMOTION. That's what a publisher is supposed to. We didn't have SHIT. I had to do EVERYTHING myself. We had no budget for advertising whatsoever. Nothing.

"And in the end Hotline Miami sold way better then Fez, in even less time."

Fish, who co-founded the Montreal studio Polytron, was criticised last year for deciding he would not release a new patch for his XBLA game due to what he deemed as exorbitant costs.

The game featured a critical bug that can corrupt save files - but Fish claimed that Microsoft wass charging too much for fixes to the game.

"Microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game," read a statement from the studio.

"Had Fez been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us. And if there was an issue with that patch, we could have fixed that right away too."

However, news surfaced on Thursday suggesting that Microsoft has reversed its policy on charging for additional certification.

Fish is nevertheless unwilling to work with Microsoft.

"Forgive me if I'm not too excited at the prospect of working with MS again even if it's just for one patch."