Journey bankrupted the studio, next game to be multiplatform, Chen says

Jenova Chen Journey development bankrupted company and other interesting tidbits

Developing Journey cost thatgamecompany a lot of time, talent and all of its money, creator Jenova Chen said during his DICE 2013 address. Journey bankrupted thatgamecompany; Chen began its development in 2006 and the studio eventually received two extensions from Sony so the team could perfect the game's emotional impact.

"We did get the money, we got to finish the extra year, but a lot of people in our studio were not paid in the last half of the year, and we actually paid our savings to extend the game for another couple months," Chen said. "So by the end, when we shipped Journey, we also went bankrupt as thatgamecompany."

In the end, Chen said it was worth it, if only to see the deep, human impact Journey had on its players. One email he received told Sophia's story, a 15-year-old who played Journey with her dad before he died and said the game changed her life for the better.

Next up, Chen wants to create a similarly artistic, but more commercially successful game, in an attempt to broaden the game development industry as a whole, he tells Polygon. Thatgamecompany's next game will be multiplatform, unlike its previous, Sony-exclusive games.