Jenova Chen Speaks On Why thatgamecompany Must Go Multi Platform

In an interview with Polygon’s Brian Crecente, the thatgamecompany head has spoken about why the company’s extraordinarily successful Journey, made for Sony’s PlayStation 3, must be the last of their single platform releases.

“I wouldn’t say that the development of Journey was a successful example of game development,” said Chen, before going on to admit that it “bankrupted the company.” The game, which won eight awards at DICE this week, was delayed for two years by the developer. Chen is always very quick to state how grateful to Sony the team are. The publisher allowed them the room and freedom to make games which are unique and special, but that relationship has also limited their scope.

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“I think to have a financial success, that is going to change everyone, it has to be much bigger than a game on the PlayStation platform,” he says, pragmatic about the studio’s future. But his desire to get thatgamecompany’s games in front of a wider audience is seemingly not a matter of money. Chen is bothered by the lack of opportunities to make great games with a higher concept. He says he feels “responsible for them because [he] showed them that is possible, but there is no place for them.”

Because of that frustration, Chen wants to make sure his next project – something which seems to be consuming his every thought at the moment – is a big commercial hit. And that means as many platforms as possible. This new project, funded with venture capital, looks set to explore Chen’s fascination with the connections we can make with other people. Journey went some way to exploring that but he says that his new game’s “one level above that.”

Source: Polygon

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13 Comments

  1. Never heard of the guy.

  2. As long as they don’t do what joe danger developers did to playstation fan base & release the game on Xbox first then a month later think of us then let them go multi platform. They would do wonders on the wii U

  3. I was surprised when i found out that they were bankrupt when Journey was released. Had it bombed, it would have spelt the end for TGC so i don’t blame them wanting to go multiplatform as they want to avoid going bankrupt again as well as being able to develop for different systems. It will be interesting to see what they will do with the Kinect and the Wii U’s gamepad. Hopefully, they won’t do what the developers of Joe danger did and turn their backs on the fanbase that helped them to become the company that they are.

  4. Personally, I think they’d find a very welcome reception on Steam. There’s a huge indie scene on there that’s doing very well.

  5. PC and the mobile platforms would be perfect for them, but I could fear a big part of the Xbox audience has no interest in their games, because they are so unique and far away from traditional games.

    • Agreed but they could triple their revenue with the platforms you mentioned enjoying such titles.

      It’s okay when you have a £35 title selling millions on a PS3 but when you’re a PSN title (and nothing else) you really need to shift an enormous number of copies to see healthy profit.

  6. Thatgamecompany deserve the financial benefits that will come with going multi-platform and everyone should have the opportunity to play their beautiful games.

    • My thoughts exactly. I don’t mind if their next game will be release on more platforms, as long as they keep up the quality to their usual standards, which I’m sure they will. The PhyreEngine used in Journey is already multiplatform ready, so they don’t have to waste ressources to port games.

  7. Makes sense. I can also see them expanding to mobile with their next release, Vita please?

  8. “looks set to explore Chen’s fascination with the connections we can make with other people. Journey went some way to exploring that but he says that his new games “one level above that.””

    Journey 2, voice chat confirmed!

    • Hahaha, plus new weapon crafting system and dubstep soundtrack!

  9. I think the multiplayer was the only thing I didn’t like about journey. It’s interestingly done but, as always, there’ll be plenty of idiots online

  10. I’m finally going to play Thatgamecompany’s games, just ordered the Journey Collector’s Edition. I could have bought them individually on PSN but I like having the disk, dunno why but I just feel that if I can get a PS3 game on disk it’s better…

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