Journey brought thatgamecompany to bankruptcy

Chen talking at D.I.C.E. Image courtesy of Polygon.

At the end of 2012, Journey had captured the hearts and minds of numerous gamers and critics while collecting a slew of awards, including Nodies for Game of the Year and more. However, this huge success for thatgamecompany nearly killed the developer, as Creative Director Jenova Chen revealed that the studio went into bankruptcy to finish the game.

Chen’s disclosure came earlier today at D.I.C.E. Summit 2013, where he explained that after two years of development, he and the folks at thatgamecompany weren’t satisfied with the level of emotional connection Journey was making. Finding that a tester had a better response after his playthrough froze just before the ending, the studio made the decision to ask Sony for an extra year of development time.

Despite getting the extension, Journey still wasn’t finished by the end of the third year. Determined to finish the game and believing it would be a success, thatgamecompany continued on and went broke to the extent that they were unable to pay their workers as they put on the final touches.

The work paid off, as three of the 25 testers thatgamecompany had play the finished version of Journey cried upon completion. The rest of the story, everyone already knows.



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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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