Copy and pasted from NeoGaf
The conversation then moved on to ThatGameCompany’s financing after moving on from the Sony partnership. “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.” Leaving the shelter of any large publisher’s wing is no easy transition, but here it’s a move that also offers new opportunities for ThatGameCompany.
He said: “A while back someone was asking me what I was looking for and I said ‘I wanted to have an input device that captures the player’s facial expressions and gestures and fingers’ I think the Kinect 2 is finally there.”
Instead Chen talked about a trajectory of ideas and experiences through his games, Cloud, Flow, Flower and Journey. “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.”
Taking the magical encounter between unidentified strangers in Journey and bringing it to bear on friends in the same place is not an obvious next step, but an enticing one. This ambition focuses on creating emotion -- as Flower did for an individual and Journey did online the next game will attempt to do locally.
“Our goal is always to make games that can move people, that are designed for everybody so the whole family should be able to play it together and that bring people together and really move them in a way. It feels like the history of the studio and everything we do is slowly heading towards that direction.”
However, the transition after the Sony contract hasn’t all been smooth sailing. “When we finished Journey in January 2012 we hadn’t figured out where the money was coming for the next game or if Journey was going to make money. So we had to let everybody go. Only the founders were left.”
Happily, ThatGameCompany seems to have now weathered the storm and be headed towards its next game. “There are four key founders and Kellee [Santiago] is one of the founders who left, the three other founders continued ThatGameCompany. Once we gained money we hired people back, right now we are 14 people and still growing.”