As thatgamecompany begins work on its new game following the highly successful release of the studio’s Journey, it’s been revealed that Kellee Santiago is set to leave the company.
Santiago has been president of thatgamecompany since co-founding the studio with fellow University of Southern California game development student Jenova Chen, who together with a small team created ’Cloud’ and ’FlOw,’ their first experiments in emotion-based gaming.
Under the banner of thatgamecompany, Santiago has worked on the PlayStation Network release of FlOw, before the team began work on Flower and Journey.
Speaking to industry site Gamasutra, Santiago said of her time at thatgamecompany:
“After doing these three games, I think it was a really great opportunity for all of us to look at what we’ve learned and what I’ve taken from that experience, and go forth and take it into new arenas.”
“On top of that,” Santiago continued, “founding a company whose explicit goal was to do new types of game development really allowed me to be able to try out new processes for game development, to try out new ideas.
“So much of my work at Thatgamecompany was really supporting Jenova’s visions for the types of games he wanted to make, and I felt like I have done everything I needed to do there, and that he’s in a great place now to go on and continue with some of the other people at Thatgamecompany, to take that to a whole new height.”
And what about the future? Santiago hasn’t revealed what her plans are yet, but comments:
“My hope is that I can take what I’ve learned and use it to support more teams, more projects… and really, hopefully, help in accelerating the growth of video games as a medium.”
In a statement, Jenova Chen commented on Santiago’s departure:
“While we want to continue the path of Thatgamecompany, Kellee has found a new direction in her career. Though our path in the future may be different, as TGC begins our next project, we wish Kellee a good journey and that our paths may cross again.”
With such an impeccable track record and inspiring visions for videogames as a medium, we’re definitely looking forward to seeing what projects Kellee Santiago takes on next!