No Fez 2 on Xbox 360 or Xbox One due to Microsoft self-publishing block

"They've made it painfully clear they don't want my ilk on their platform," says Fish

Fez 2 won't appear on Xbox platforms till Microsoft allows developers to self-publish on Xbox Live, Polytron's Phil Fish has announced via Polygon.

Asked which platforms the game would appear on, Fish fired back succinctly: "not Xbox." He's unimpressed by Microsoft's dramatic over-turning of Xbox One's game licensing policies, stating: "I don't think it changes much for me. They didn't change anything about their anti-indie policies."

Currently, Microsoft requires that developers partner with a publisher in order to release games on Xbox Live - an expensive, time-consuming process. The firm also charges for game updating, which is why Fish declined to patch Fez twice following the discovery of a crippling save bug.


"With Microsoft they've made it painfully clear they don't want my ilk on their platform," he added elsewhere in the conversation. "I can't even self-publish there. Whereas on PS4, I can. It's that simple. Microsoft won't let me develop for their console. But Sony will."

Fish isn't alone in calling for self-publishing on Xbox Live - Oddworld developers Just Add Water and Oddworld Inhabitants have made their feelings plain. "I feel they have to open up to self-publishing, and not just carry on with retail-first," JAW's CEO Stewart Gilray told OXM earlier this year. "They have to get rid of that role because it's bonkers, frankly. Next generation, there are some great games coming out where the publishers and developers can't afford to do retail."

Former Call of Duty man Robert Bowling has suggested that Xbox Live could rival PC game distribution channels for the quality and quantity of indie games, providing Microsoft "cuts artificial limitations".

Not much is known about Fez 2 as yet, other than that "it is an entirely new game!" Fish comments that "FEZ 2 is to FEZ 1 what Zelda 2 was to Zelda 1, but more different", adding "the biggest reason is that I just wanted to go back to that world. I want to expand on my little world and its mythology.

"It's not a case of wanting to recycle ideas we didn't get to put in FEZ I. Since the games are going to be so different, there's not a whole lot that could just carry over."