Jenova Chen, the founder of thatgamecompany and the creator of Journey, believes that his team needs to create an emotion-driven video game that is commercially successful in order to encourage more teams to work on similar experiences.The developer tells VentureBeat that, “my resolution this year is: I’m not a money guy, but I want to make our next product a commercial success, so that people will say, ‘Hey, there’s a huge market out there. If you make a high-quality games that can touch people, it’s going to do great business’.”
Chen was driven to the idea after he saw many new developers coming to him, asking for advice or a place to create their own titles, and he found that he was unable to supply them with information about the business side of game development.
The business model that studios should try to emulate is movie creator Pixar, which manages to attract huge audiences to titles that use emotion and don’t adhere to the traditional rules of the genre.
Chen adds, “Our game doesn’t have language. It should reach a worldwide community. If our game can be delivered to that worldwide community, to everyone, why shouldn’t we make money? There has to be money there. When it comes to how we monetize it, there’s always a way.”
Journey was launched during 2012 exclusively via the PlayStation Network from Sony and quickly became the biggest seller ever on the service.
The game also picked up eight awards at the DICE 2013 ceremony, the biggest haul of any title from last year.
The soundtrack of the game was also nominated for a Grammy Award.
thatgamecompany has not yet revealed exactly what it is working on for the near future, but the project will probably be once more linked to the PlayStation brand.