Cliff Bleszinski Writes Open Letter to Phil Fish and Game Trailers Fires Back

Cliff Bleszinski reached out on Twitter to Phil Fish, letting Fish know that by quitting, “the idiots have won.” Now the Gears of War developer has reached out by open letter, encouraging Fish to come back to games development with thicker skin:

Someone on Twitter asked me how to deal with haters. I have some experience on the subject for well over 20 years now. Blow says you can’t ignore it because by the time you’ve read the words it’s too late. The key with the idiots is to outwit them because the idiot uses hate (and poor spelling/grammar) because the idiot does not know how to be witty. Watch what people like Ricky Gervais and Patton Oswalt do on Twitter. Heck, like him or not, even Piers Morgan is pretty good at fending them off.

Bleszinski relates personal stories of online bullying and tells Fish he owes nothing to games journalism. I agree with the intent of the letter, but find issue with one thing:

I also know that, when it comes to any form of journalism, be it a profile piece or a reality TV show or documentary the viewer or consumer only sees what the author wants them to see, through their often very skewed lens.

It’s impossible to completely shed subjectivity without becoming a machine, but journalism, when done right, does not cherry-pick facts to further the point of the piece, while ignoring facts proving the converse.

A good journalist never forms an unwavering opinion at the beginning of research; he learns as he reports and is willing to let the facts he finds alter his stance. It’s not his place to skew the view to one side, but Game Trailers, unfortunately, helps Bleszinski’s case with its response to his open letter:

Well, noted video game designer Cliff Bleszinski has offered up some advice to the vocal and often volatile developer, but considering the public nature of his open letter, some might say Dude Huge is just capitalizing on the chaos while, uh, “fishing” for some attention of his own.

Right in the intro, GT writer Daniel Kayser aligns its readers against Bleszinski by suggesting, without evidence, that “some might say” he is capitalizing on the chaos. Instead of summarizing the letter, he chooses the letter’s most volatile paragraph to do that for them:

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 until you can unleash one big giant motherfucking HADOKEN upon the community that wins awards and sells millions and then the haters will truly be eating a giant bushel of dicks as you roll in a pile of money, acclaim, and community love.

What follows is a sentence that both admits there’s “obviously” more to the letter and at the same time assures their audience it’s not worth reading.

…but to be honest, it’s not very balanced. I’ve searched for the words ‘humble’, ‘honest’, and ‘responsibility’ in the open letter, but none of them are to be found.

The last sentence again raises the possibility of Bleszinski using the “exchange as a platform to promote his own blog.” Well, I did a search for the words “journalistic,” “integrity” and “objectivity” in Game Trailer’s article, but none of them are to be found.