thatgamecompany's Kellee Santiago on Vita, and her ongoing argument with Roger Ebert

With Flow and Flower, Kellee Santiago and Jenova Chen's 12-person dev studio, thatgamecompany, completed two thirds of its three-game contract with Sony. And when Journey arrives some time in 2012, that three-game contract will come to an end, leaving Santiago and co. to an unknown future in the game industry. At a recent Sony press event in New York City, Santiago wouldn't say what the future holds for TGC ("Right now we're really focused on finishing Journey," she told me), but she did speak to her own interest in the PlayStation Vita.

"I could definitely see all of thatgamecompany's titles on the Vita," Santiago said. "But, as you said, we're a team of 12, so for us in each title we just try to focus on the specific platform we're distributing on, and then leave the future to the future." The studio's first game, Flow, ended up on Sony's last handheld system, so the idea of Flower and Journey ending up on the Vita isn't exactly a far-fetched one.

Given Santiago's apprehension at speaking about TGC after Journey, I instead prodded her about her interactions with famous (infamous?) film critic Roger Ebert. Had anything transpired since her last note? Santiago laughed before telling me, "He seems to have conceded that while he has his opinion, he can't really have it 'cause he doesn't play games anyway." In her last response, Santiago even offered to send Ebert a PlayStation 3 with Flower.

"We did send him a PlayStation 3 with Flower," she said. But has he played it? "At least of the last writing on it, he has not played it." Maybe she should've sent an employee to play the game for him as well?

[Image credit: TED Blog]