Read the full article and more on people's reaction here
Phil Fish, the indie games designer who broke onto the scene with his unpublished platformer Fez, today sparked anger by publicly deriding the work of Japanese games developers in front of a packed audience at GDC.
Following a GDC screening of Indie Game The Movie – a documentary about games design that Fish heavily features in – the Canadian Polytron developer took part in a Q&A discussion with the audience.
A standing ovation for the movie itself set the tone for an open and positive discussion about indie games with the audience, yet when an unknown Japanese developer took to the mic to ask a question, the mood visibly turned.
The Japanese developer praised the movie and said he was pleased to see how many independent developers had been inspired by games such as Super Mario Bros and Zelda since their childhood.
But when he asked what the panel thought of modern Japanese video games, Phil Fish (pictured) immediately replied “your games just suck” – a comment that sparked an audible reaction from the crowd, though some were cheering.
Others looked on awkwardly as the Japanese developer was then subjected to a string criticisms about game design flaws in his native country. The developer nevertheless thanked the panel for their response and returned to his seat.
After the Q&A many attendees were heard to be privately criticising Fish’s comments, though some went public with their complaints.
seems like a classy guy!
I will try to create a decent bulletpoint complete with links to relevant posts. Yes, I am bored. Throw it in the OP if you wish.
- Broken(?) by a website called develop and thrown on to GAF pastures by subversus, it details a GDC Q&A session following a screening of Indie Game The Movie involving game designer Phil Fish from Polytron who's unreleased game Fez constantly experiences mass anticipation and awards from the gaming community.
- Within the news story is of Phil Fish's apparent lack of respect toward a, then anonymous, question from a fellow Japanese developer. The Japanese man had praised the movie, stating that he was pleased to see many independent developers use Super Mario Bros. and Zelda as inspiration for what they are doing now. He then asked what he thought of modern Japanese games. Phil Fish's response was to ridicule the man in front of fellow developers by poorly articulating with "your games just suck" complete with a few cheers.
- GAF goes wild with comments ranging from the cold hard truth, the questionable, the consensus opinion, and the reality. What follows is typical GAF being GAF by discussing and dissecting like a bunch of Dodos trained as surgeons.
- This isn't the first time Fish has made a silly statement complete with his own weak argument. A precursor to his fate perhaps?
- Maybe Phil Fish needs to hire noire as a PR agent?
- Rollo Larson asks, Aeana answers. 7threst provides an alternative viewpoint.
- Interspersed between the discussions, Fish backs up his Q&A panel statement by throwing an additional 2 cents upon the Twitterverse with an apology followed by a vulgar reaffirmation.
- More discussion! kazuma_pt lives up to his namesake, gets the shits, and provides the goods in the only way some people may recognize. shadyspace throws a sobering reminder. quinntendopower doesn't understand. charlequin provides the finer points and what may lay in the future for Japanese developers. For the first few hundred posts within the thread, many are in agreement that Fish was being antagonistic without backing his statements up. Some even going so far as to state that they are no longer looking to purchase Fez.
- The cavalry arrives!! Here, here, here, and here.
- The Emperor provides feedback that the Japanese developer apparently left the room after he received his verbal lashings at GDC.
- More infighting and posts with no formulated arguments in GAF, while a nugget of truth arrives from the fingertips of Kaijima. Etc etc.
- Phil Fish is accosted in friendly manner on Twitter providing examples why modern Japanese games aren't pathetic. Fish remarks with rose-tinted glasses that Japanese games have been in decline since the 16-bit era.
- GAF rumbles some more and the brewing elephant in the room of Japanese vs Western arguments of recent seasons ignites. Blackface throws a blanket over the thread, ULTROS! and Rahxephon91 play games, while Glorious_Paradox expects Fez to be better than Nintendo's output for Fish's attitude to be accepted. Jonnyram drives it home, but forgets to praise the past 12-24 months of absolutely solid Japanese games - rare as they may be. Dave Long provides an interesting statement on PC games then and now.
- GAF no longer talks about Fish for several hundred posts outside of a remark here or there.
- Fish tweets again, this time about GAF talking about him. Problem is the thread stopped dissecting his statement hours ago.
- TheOddOne hands out a link to a 7min video with Jonathon Blow (Braid, The Witness developer) that discusses independent games and the state of Japanese games industry. SolidSnakex retorts with an article.
- Meanwhile, Agent Unknown lobs a grenade to Phil Fish on twitter. Is it live or dead?
- Fish replies to Agent Unknown complete with sexual innuendo. The grenade was a live pineapple and the concrete begins to set around Fish's feet. GAF, naturally, responds. Feep jumps in as a fellow indie developer who gave away thousands of copies of his game for free to GAF members and lays down the law.
- Fez wins Seumas McNally Grand Prize at IGF while not having seen the light of day. Fish tweets about it, then follows up a bit regarding penises and multiple awards.
- Members stop arguing about East vs West and go back to Fish. JuxJuxJux completes the GAF hate with this gem.
- Natty1 becomes a part of Detective GAF and finds previously unknown Japanese developer via Twitter with the name Makoto Goto.
- Say what?
- The bad publicity is starting to hit Fish. geebee wonders if Microsoft said something to him.
- Codeblue finds the real Makoto Goto?
- Fish finally apologizes to Goto personally via Twitter. I wonder if it had anything to do with Codeblue finding the real Goto.
- keit4 (with interesting avatar) wants to throw more fuel on the fire that is now in its ember state.
- Goto replies to apology in an incredibly humble way.
- randomkid summarizes details about Goto's first trip to GDC and an interview conducted by Japanese media. Empathy rears its beautiful head.
- We need Japanese indie games translated, pronto.
- LQX sums the end of this bulletpoint all up with an outlook to the Fez official thread. I prefer "Fez |OT| Call me Brown.. Chris Brown"
I would like to thank GAF for being GAF and Koichi Sugiyama for composing Dragon Quest music.