Thatgamecompany has secured $7 Million in funding for their next project which is said to be an “emotionally engaging” experience on the Journey developer’s official blog. The game will be the first after the studio completed a 5 year contract with Sony for three games which included flOw, Flower and Journey which won 8 of the 11 categories it was nominated for at the DICE awards in 2013.
The Journey developer’s blog post stated:
“We are proud to share the news today that our studio has entered the next phase of development on our upcoming project and has raised an additional $7 million in funding. We are happy to partner with Capital Today and a team of other investors who share our vision in making meaningful interactive experiences that inspire, connect, and emotionally touch the hearts of players around the world.”
Thatgamecompany will now begin scaling up development to focus on making their next game which will be in the spirit of the previous games. However without the marketing muscle and publishing infrastructure of Sony at hand, the studio will also have to begin laying the groundwork for self-publishing their new IP including marketing and distribution “on our own terms for this next project and beyond.”
Even though Journey is the critical darling of the studio, it almost bankrupted Thatgamecompany. Polygon originally interviewed co-founder Jenova Chen in February 2013 where he stated that while the game was a critical success, the development on the game stretched to three years for the 12 person team. After the completion of Journey, the studio saw the departure of four key personnel: co-founder Kelly Santiago, Journey exec producer Robin Hunicke, “feel engineer” John Nesky and producer and designer Chris Bell.
While the studio has lost some talent, it has also gained new talent while retaining its small team size including a new “feel engineer” Adam Lederer. And in case you are wondering what a “feel engineer” is, according to Lederer on Thatgamecompany’s official blog, “the name refers to a particular focus on sensation – our games are built fundamentally on sensation, and achieving the final feeling of playing the game (the combination of animation, camera, controls, sound, to a slightly lesser extent graphics and AI) requires layer after layer of prototyping and refinement.”
The new game from the studio will be “centered around human connections for players of all ages and backgrounds.” Beyond that, nothing is known about the new effort from Thatgamecompany and how close they are to completing the project with the additional $7 million in capital investment.
You can read our thoughts on Thatgamecompany’s last title, Journey here.