ThatGameCompany hints at next game

Next game from the Journey developer will continue the studio's focus on social gaming; intended to be published on multiple platforms.

ThatGameCompany president Jenova Chen has hinted at what the developer may be working on next in a recent interview with UK publication The Telegraph.

Chen said that while the next project is still in "pre-, pre-production mode," the studio that brought the arthouse games Flow, Flower, and Journey to the PlayStation 3 will continue to evolve its focus on social gaming.

"The next game after Journey is like, OK, we've done it with strangers on the Internet, can this also happen among people who know each other. It's a natural evolution of everything we are doing," he said.

With the studio's three-game agreement with Sony now complete, Chen said that the team is eager to move away from publisher-funded development. In June last year, ThatGameCompany announced that it had secured $5.5 million in venture capital funding, and hoped to bring its future games to multiple platforms. Despite critical acclaim and strong sales, the company cited platform exclusivity as a factor in its financial troubles while developing Journey.

"We've made three games and have completed the contract. So from this point on, we've raised venture capital because we wanted to own IP and put it on any platform we want," he said in the interview. While Chen didn't discuss any specifics surrounding the studio’s next game, he said, like all previous works, it would have broad appeal.

"Cloud and Flower are very much egocentric about my own expression, 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.”

Earlier this year, a job listing at the studio sought a scalability engineer for a "full-scale online service," which would be able to accommodate hundreds of thousands of users.

In a recent interview with FamilyGamer TV, Chen also revealed his interest in the Kinect 2.0 sensor that will ship alongside Microsoft's Xbox One console. He called out the technology's ability to capture facial expressions and subtle gestures, and is interested to see how they may be combined with gaming.

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90 comments
lostn
lostn

Chen said that while the next project is still in "pre-, pre-production mode,"

 Erm... So what has he been doing for the last 16 months since Journey released?

SSSwag
SSSwag

if the kinect 2.0 works like it did with steel battalion heavy armor, i'd reconsider (xplay's review was too real!)

wyan_
wyan_

Broad appeal? So they're either making Call of Flower or Call of Journey: Sand Ops II?

Gargus
Gargus

A wide audience? I mean I love flower and journey but usually when developers start trying to appeal to a wide audience it means a substandard experience. You cant please everyone without dumbing something down and trying to attract as many people as possible.

That's why I loved flower and journey is because they were focused on what they wanted to make and it really showed in the game. They weren't going for a wide audience.

I don't know, maybe they will prove to be the exception to the rule but I have a feeling this game wont be as strong as flower and journey were.

Pawfalcon
Pawfalcon

Still in pre-pre-production?! Damn it people, something must be done about this. Quick, throw money at them! And here I was hoping they would show something at E3.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I have to admit I really liked being able to lord thatgamecompany's games over Xbox fans. But if I'm truly honest, I'd say their games are so good that absolutely everyone should get to enjoy them.

Cyberjin
Cyberjin

thatgamecompany are self-publishing the next game
so it will most likely NOT come to Xbox one, since they can't self-publish on that platform without publisher

Lost_Omega
Lost_Omega

I have full faith in ThatGmeCompany.  They've created very beautiful and meaningful games and I can't wait to see what they have next.  I just hope they don't leave the PlayStation.  I don't have any intention of getting the Xbox One and it would suck if their next game is exclusively on the Xbox.  That would tear my heart out.

AlexFili
AlexFili

I bet it'll be something artsy

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

Multiplatform?  What about the ps3 being the choice for the artistic game developer. 

DJKrayz_basic
DJKrayz_basic

It'll be hard to top Journey, so i sense a letdown coming up... yes, i guess im a pessimist... but good luck to that team and hope what they come up with is good enough to keep fans happy.

CharlesBurns
CharlesBurns

I loved journey, just please make the next game take longer to finish.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

They should make Journey for PS Vita. Be so awesome on the Vita's screen.

Sstrawberryjam
Sstrawberryjam

If this was any other developer saying they were focusing more on social gaming I'd be sceptical, but after Journey they can do as they please!

TirOrah
TirOrah

Journey was a wonderful game, I hope their next project will be as impressive as that one. Good luck, thatgamecompany. :)

gamist
gamist

From someone who enjoys actions games, I had little interest in this game. But after giving it a try, I'm a believer. So far, I vote Journey as the most relaxing game ever. 

Totally looking forward to their next project.

FarginIcehole
FarginIcehole

Hands down, one of my favorite PSN games to date.  The other notable exceptions were fl0w and Everyday Shooter and with 2 of those games from That Game Company, I'll probably be first in line to grab their next game.

uncle5555
uncle5555

"we've done it with strangers on the internet, can this also happen among people who know each other. It’s a natural evolution of everything we are doing,”

Sounds perverted, lol or can sound perverted without context.   ;-)

mindfreak1235
mindfreak1235

next game for that game company should be a sequel to journey. name it "the longest journey"

talkcasual
talkcasual

I found Journey very inspiring, one of the best experiences of 2012 for me. They had a few strokes of genius with this one, especially with:

1. The take on MP - amazing, when I learned that my companion isn't AI my jaw literally hit the floor. It was complete shock.

2. The red/white cloak idea is genius, especially when you can accompany noobs and show them around.. this "older brother" approach was very inventive in my eyes

3. The amount of hacks and unintentional secrets in the game is astounding. After I've finished it for the 6th time, I found someone who showed me all the glitch worlds and this was crazy!

4. The art style and soundtrack were among the best I've ever seen

I honestly see this game was one of the greatest achievements in gaming and feel bad for everybody who didn't get a chance to experience it 

the_big_doggg
the_big_doggg

Sick of hearing about that overrated Journey game.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

The install base on one platform just isn't enough anymore. Multiplatform is the way to go for developers.

willzihang
willzihang

Journey was obviously a game that embodied sick over-fawning and over-hype; probably a lot thanks to the Sony propaganda machine that tells us all their exclusive games are 'perfect' (Last of Us anyone?): nothing is perfect, not a masterwork piece of classic art; not a penned-genius Bach composition. People believe it as well, usually those that only Sony plastic box games machines, as it convinces them ONLY their wonderful plastic box can provide perfect games. 

It will be interesting to see how this game is received if indeed it isn't a Sony-only; though the developers still have the Sony glitz-key in their mouths.

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

Hopefully the next game will be just as involving as Journey. Best game of 2012 for me.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

Yeah, Sony exclusives, including The Last of Us, sell poorly. I'd love to see them making PC games again. I sampled Journey and would like to experience it, but refused to purchase it digitally on PS3.

OldKye
OldKye

@wyan_ Naw fool!  It's clearly 

"Call of Grand Theft Journey: Dance, Dance Creed Party Ryse FIFA Need For Grand Trismo Hearts Fablenauts: Elder Scroll Of Us Rising Flower Legend of Beyond Saints Row Motorsports Field Drivatar, Drivatar, Drivatar Duty Watch Dog's & Cat's 9"

Amish_Gramish
Amish_Gramish

@Gargus This is the Community Manager for thatgamecompany, Aaron Grommesh.

As for wide appeal:  flOw, Flower, and Journey were all developed to have wide appeal.  Part of the core development philosophy of TGC is to make games that can be appreciated by a very large group of people.  Both casual and hardcore gamers, and we've certainly achieved that.

Every step in Journey was, "How can make sure as many people have this same feeling as possible?"  It most certainly was not, "How can we ensure that only a small amount of pre-exposed people will understand what we're doing?"

We are striving to be something like the Pixar of gaming, where we can make amazing titles that touch people of all ages, from around the world.  It's hard to do this on just one platform.  (You can be safe to know that we won't make something like Cars 2 just to sell merchandise.)

jecomans
jecomans

@Gargus The strength of their games so far have been the power of isolation; so much mesmerizing time zipping through Journey; the spirit of contemplation. 

The second time I played Journey I turned off the internet so I wouldn't be joined by a player and just had the company of the scarf things on the game, and that was a much better experience than joining up with someone. 

Social gaming isn't the next logical step to TGC, is a dumb step that goes against what they grandly accomplished so far. I hope once they hit pre-production they'll have realized the error of their ways.

maitkarro
maitkarro

@Cyberjin for example FEZ begs to differ. Or other major indie games like Super Meat Boy, Dust an Elysian Tail, Minecraft.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@Sstrawberryjam Given that thatgamecompany's idea of social gaming is probably nothing like what I perceive as social gaming, I'd have to agree.

talkcasual
talkcasual

@willzihang Have you ever played Journey from start to finish? Very few games had the same profound effect on me. I own both an XBOX360 and PS3 and I must say Journey is on a league of its own..

daabulls23
daabulls23

@willzihang "Sony propaganda machine"

Yeah, what other companies advertise that their products are great? 

DMND
DMND

@Banhammered1 hey! hey dude!      here! down here... *are you crazy?*... *you can't say the truth about games they call "art" or "masterpiece"*  *didn't you ever heard that urban legend about the guy who gave an 8.0 to Last of Us?*  Chill out they are coming...

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

@Kryptonbornson Same here. 

If it was on Steam I would have picked it up ironically. And I have a PS3! It's just that I haven't turned it on in a couple of years. Dust collector. I can't play on consoles anymore.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@KBABZ I never get around to it. I don't really use discs anymore. I purchased a handful of PS3 games when I purchased it, but never can bring myself to go to Gamestop or anywhere else and actually buy a console game. I'm surprised I got up to rent The Last of Us. Well, I was grocery shopping. I'd rather buy digital, but the console transitions and losing your games is a problem.

BLaverock
BLaverock

@KBABZ @Kryptonbornson I'm interested in your definition of "poorly," I don't think you're using it correctly in this context lol Last of Us sold nearly 1.2 million, how is that poor?

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@talkcasual I've mentioned in other articles before that I don't recall ever thinking crossing water was a big thing in a game before The Last of Us because Ellie can't swim and I surprisingly bonded with her. I think most of that was wasted on how safe the game was. I almost didn't noticed a kid got killed at the beginning because most of the rest of the story was so cliche. From the very beginning I thought the story took the basic outline of Children of Men and swapped out immunity for fertility.

talkcasual
talkcasual

@Kryptonbornson @talkcasual I found TLOU very emotional. I've never "fallen in love" with characters in this way before and got so involved with them. I think the story was not safe, especially the ending. The violence I think they did for the sake of story, not for the sake of being violent. And I agree the gameplay itself was mediocre at best, but it wasn't the main point in my eyes..

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@talkcasual I agree, but I don't think The Last of Us was all that artistic. It was raw and violent, but the gameplay and story choices were very safe. Very conventional stealth/action game. Again, I have to say it has one of the better game endings I can think of and I liked the relationship between Joel and Ellie. Who doesn't?

talkcasual
talkcasual

@Kryptonbornson @BLaverock When games are made for the sole purpose of selling as much as possible you get rehashed sh*t like COD. We're lucky ND have some artistic freedom.. To me TLOU was a great experience

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@BLaverock Yeah, that's poorly for AAA. 1.17 million.