thagamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen has found great success in his approach to providing games that explore a more artistic, emotional side of gaming than the usual set of action title that line store shelves.
Thanks to a three-game publishing deal with Sony Computer Entertainment, thatgamecompany’s titles have gone from strength to strength beginning with the (almost literally) embryonic flOw in 2007, before moving on to Flower in 2009 and the critically and commercially acclaimed Journey in 2012.
Chen’s dealings with SCE and his studio’s success on PS3 has lead him to a few conclusions, including his belief that PS3 gamers are “more likely” to appreciate his games.
In an interview with Venturebeat’s Gamesbeat, and in reference to the PlayStation Network’s downloadable games compared to those of Xbox LIVE and WiiWare, Chen declared:
“Sony has a more artistic and adult-focused taste. They care about how grown-ups feel toward their games.”
“The player who owns a PlayStation 3 [and is playing PSN titles],” says Chen, “is more likely to be interested in artistic games compared to Wii and Xbox 360.”
Naturally, the senior director of PlayStation digital platforms, Jack Buser, agrees with Chen’s claims:
“Our primary PSN audience is indeed more adult, and many of our best-selling titles appeal to this demographic. Many PlayStation and PSN games have themes that require a user to think and feel about a deep, immersive gameplay experience, and we see that exemplified in the success of titles like Flower, Journey, and Heavy Rain.
“Titles like these can only be found on PlayStation, and our users enjoy the emotional and thematic sophistication of their games, especially with our digital offerings.”
What do you think of Chen’s claims? Are PS3 gamers more appreciative of ‘artistic’ games? Is Sony doing more for this area of gaming than Microsoft and Nintendo on their respective downloadable services?
thatgamecompany’s next title after Journey is due to be announced this year, with a publishing partner yet to be decided upon. Do you think they’ll go with SCE again or try to work with another partner?