Developing Journey Bankrupted thatgamecompany Says Founder

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Journey development studio, thatgamecompany, drove themselves to bankruptcy working on that particular game, reveals company co-founded, Jenova Chen.


In an interview with Polygon, Chen shares: "I wouldn’t say that the development of Journey was a successful example of game development. We bankrupted the company."


This is despite the fact that Journey was incredibly well-received as a PlayStation 3 download title. The game was pushed back by two years in order to achieve its vision, and while Chen is thankful to Sony for their support and allowing thatgamecompany to delay the game, he also feels that being on a single platform limited its success.


Because of this, Chen wants his next game to be a bigger commercial success, so that he can prove the viability of working on artistic games.


"I run into a lot of lost and frustrated students who study games to work on great art, but then find there is no place for them," Chen shares. "I feel responsible for them because I showed them that is possible, but there is no place for them."


As a result, thatgamecompany’s next game will not be exclusive to any one platform. The new game, which has not yet been detailed, but like Journey will focus on forming a connection between players.


"Journey was focused on connection," Chen ssaid. "I think we are trying to do one level above that with this game."


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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.