There were plenty of reports surrounding Journey's development -- from multi-million dollar budgets to thatgamecompany going bankrupt as a result of the game -- and Jenova Chen has revealed that only now has the studio finally begun to receive royalties based on sales of the game.
Asked about the game's commercial success (it was a critical darling), Chen said, “It is still hard to know, but we made the money back last year, and this year we started to see royalties coming in. So it seems that Journey sales are not really going away. I’m quite curious to see what happens this quarter.” [Family Gamer TV via VG247]
We're glad to see that Chen and his team are finally seeing some rewards for what was one of the finest games in recent memory. Journey released back in March 2012, and we called it "something inherently euphoric, deeply personal and, dare I say, even a little bit spiritual as well". The Collector's Edition, which includes flOw and Flower is now out too, and you can read Brendan's appraisal here.
thatgamecompany have completed their three-game exclusivity arrangement with Sony, and are now going multi-platform with funding from venture capitalists. However Chen says that the project is still in very, very early stages.
“It’s been almost a year now and we are still in a very pre, pre-production mode," he told the Telegraph. It’s always been the pattern of thatgamecompany that we spent 75 per cent of time doing R&D and a smaller portion of time on production.
“When we go for a particular goal we have to do a lot of trial and error. It can feel like you are reaching out in the fog trying to find something.”
Chen has also spoken about his desire to reach a larger audience with this next game:
“John Hight who was head of External Development at Sony half joking said ‘you just need to make a couple of games to let your artistic ego out, so then you can actually focus on a game that will have mass appeal,’” he said.
“Cloud and Flower are very much egocentric about my own expression, Flow is more utilitarian and Journey is more about collaboration between various creative voices in the team. Our next game is going to be something that will relate to a wide audience on a human level. It is very exciting to see my own maturing and the team’s maturing and I’m curious to see what this next game could be.”