Cliff Bleszinski has written to Fez designer Phil Fish asking him to return to the games industry after his departure last week.
Fish’s exit followed an incident in which he was criticized for not commenting on the changes to Microsoft’s Xbox One policy, but it’s only the latest in a long string of controversies surrounding the developer.
Gears of War creator Bleszinski left his job at Epic last year, and hasn’t yet taken another position.
He isn’t a stranger to internet vitriol either, and shared his encouragement on Tumblr.
"Never underestimate the intestinal fortitude of the anonymous loser hiding behind a monitor and his or her ability to sling vitriol at someone who willingly puts themselves out there," wrote Bleszinski.
"The fact of the matter, Phil, is that you were trending worldwide on Twitter. How many game developers can say that? Does no one realise that while you may seem somewhat unstable at times you also have Andy Kaufman as your Twitter AVI?”
The abuse to which developers find themselves subject has been getting a lot of attention in the industry press this week after one Call of Duty developer found himself the target of hate and violence filled messages when a patch lowered the rate of fire of a fictional firearm.
Fish is a special case though, as much of the internet angst surrounding him isn’t coming from fans but the gaming press and industry colleagues.
Bleszinski said the stress of making a game and running your own business can make anyone say things that draw fire from the press, but advised his colleague that his habit of speaking his mind is needed in the industry even if it doesn’t look good through the lens of the press.
“You don’t owe a damned thing to any gaming journalist. 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,” he said.
“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.”
The final piece of advice seems applicable to anyone who works in an industry like gaming that finds itself constantly in contact with internet anger – take all that energy and put it to work in making games.
“The other key is to absorb all of that hate into one big fireball of motivation inside of your belly and then pour all of that energy into your work,” said Bleszinski.
“Come back, Phil. We miss you already. Maybe I’ll be right behind you, returning with Adamantium skin.”