Journey Creators Are Back On Their Feet, Working On Their Next Game

Journey Creators Are Back On Their Feet, Working On Their Next Game

This interview with Thatgamecompany’s Jenova Chen makes me happy for a couple of reasons. The first is Chen’s declaration that Journey broke even — it made its money back last year and the team continue to rake in the benefit of consistent sales of that evergreen video game. The second reason: Thatgamecompany is currently working on its next title.

It seemed like it may have been touch and go for a while. In previous interview the team has admitted Thatgamecompany almost went broke and in this interview Chen says they had to let everyone besides the founders of the company go. Now the team has received funding outside of Sony and is working on its next title. No word on the format or anything really, but there was this select quote on the team’s next game.

“Cloud and Flower are very much egocentric about my own expression,” said Chen. “Flow is more utilitarian and Journey is more about collaboration between various creative voices in the team. Our next game is going to be something that will relate to a wide audience on a human level. It is very exciting to see my own maturing and the team’s maturing and I’m curious to see what this next game could be.”

Jenova Chen also mentioned being interested in the new version of Kinect for the Xbox One. So maybe there are some dots to be connected here.

Life After Journey for ThatGameCompany [Daily Telegraph]


  • I can’t believe Thatgamecompany almost went broke after Journey. I was completely unaware of this. They were one of Sony’s most promising, original and consistent developers, producing what many believe to be the best game of last year, and they still struggled to make ends meet?
    There’s no justice.

    • And then you get rehashed CoD titles breaking sales records year after year! No justice indeed.

    • It’s because Journey was years over schedule and they had to get continual loans from Sony to make ends meet until the game was ready.

      The Nintendo/Blizzard/Valve mentality of not releasing a game until it is ready doesn’t work when you’re a small indie studio. If Sony didn’t have so much faith in ThatGameCompany, odds are they’d be heavily in debt and without such a fantastic game to show for it.

    • The issue, as Trjn mentioned, was that they had funding from Sony to make Journey. But that was the end of the 3 game deal. Presumably it was thatgamecompany that didn’t want to extend it, because I’m sure Sony would have loved to have exclusive rights to their next game(s), but I think they wanted to go multiplatform in search of a larger audience. But that meant finding an alternate source of funding.

      There was a good story about it at Edge a while back…

      Basically there was a gap in between finishing Journey and receiving royalties, and during that gap there was no money coming in.

      • Fair enough. The business side of things is really what gets me about creative expression, regardless of whether it’s a game, a movie, or whatever. It seems like it should be, “awesome videogame comes out, money goes in”. Hopefully the indie-friendly distribution model of Steam and the PSN will help keep talented indies doing what they do best; making games, not worrying about boring things like cashflow and publishing deals.

    • They would not have almost gone broke had they released the game on more platforms than the PS3. More revenue sources = no almost broke game company!

      • The problem wasn’t the number of copies it sold. It was the fact that there’s a delay between finishing work on a game and actually starting to sell it and from then to actually receiving royalty cheques from it. If you’re independent then you don’t have anybody else paying the bills during that period. It’s a cash-flow problem, not a sales problem. They did eventually make a profit on it.

        Besides which, I can’t think of another major publisher who would actually be willing to take the significant financial risk on something as left-field as Journey. So it either got made as a PS3 exclusive or it didn’t get made at all.

  • I didnt enjoy Journey. Woaaaaaa put that pitchfork down! If I say I quite liked Flower will you spare my life? Because I did, it was strangely captivating. But Journey just didnt tickle me.

      • Thats it! If youre going to hurt me, I may as well get some more things off my chest. Queen, Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, I dont enjoy any of them. I kept my mouth shut for years simply because I didnt want to get into endless arguments with my band mates at the time.

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