thatgamecompany Moves Beyond Its Journey With Sony
Last month, thatgamecompany released Journey on the PlayStation Network to widespread critical acclaim and, happily, an equally favorable commercial reception. In fact, Journey has become the fastest-selling title in the history of the PSN both in the US and in Europe. The number of fan letters that the developer has received also surpassed those for Flower, Journey’s predecessor, after only three days. This success is likely to hold steady as Journey’s soundtrack, by Austin Wintory, is released on April 10th and the Smithsonian continues to feature Flower in its Art of Video Games exhibit.
However, this period of good fortune for the company is also marked by the turmoil of transition as key staff depart. Kellee Santiago, a TED fellow and Indie Fund backer who founded thatgamecompany with Jenova Chen, acted as a producer for the developer’s first two games before focusing her attention upon directing the company as its president. She has left under amicable terms in order to pursue new though as-yet unannounced goals, Gamasutra reports. The producer for Journey, Robin Hunicke, also parts ways as she joins Tiny Speck and Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi in their work on Glitch, an MMORPG that explores interdependent player communities.
Despite these personnel changeups, the future is bright for thatgamecompany. Sony's second-party developer completes its three-game contract with Journey (after flOw and Flower). Anything is possible now—and on any platform. Indeed, as Chen told Push Square: “Right now we are very much exploring ways to bring our games to a bigger audience, beyond just PlayStation.” His statement about Santiago’s departure indicates that Journey’s successor is already in the works.