D.I.C.E. Summit 2013: thatgamecompany went bankrupt during Journey’s developmentWritten by: / / No Comments
Journey may have received numerous awards and become the fastest-selling PlayStation Network title in history following its release in March 2012, but thatgamecompany faced its fair share of hardships during an unexpectedly lengthy development cycle.
Speaking during the recently held D.I.C.E. Summit, game director Jenova Chen admitted that the company he co-founded in 2006 was bankrupt by the time Journey was released. Sony had agreed to fund the first two years of development but once this period was up Chen felt the game was lacking the emotional impact his team was searching for. This led thatgamecompany to ask Sony to fund another year of development, to which the platform holder agreed. Various changes were made to gameplay during this period and additional elements were added, such as new animation during a snowy section found later in the game.
After three years Journey was still not complete and Chen was forced to dip into the company’s own funds to finish the project to the team’s satisfaction. Chen said that during the last half-year of development some staff members worked unpaid and the company went bankrupt.
During his speech, Chen also related the immense sense of fulfilment he felt when 3 of the 25 testers playing the final build of Journey cried upon reaching its emotional conclusion.