Thatgamecompany, the creator of the Journey and Flower games on the PlayStation 3, has announced a $7 million round of funding from China’s Capital Today.
The money will go to finance a new phase of development for its upcoming project, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based company said in an announcement on its website. The deal shows that this new project has potential, coming from a game development shop that has redefined and broadened the audience for games with its past titles.
“We are happy to partner with Capital Today and a team of other investors who share our vision in making meaningful interactive experiences that inspire, connect, and emotionally touch the hearts of players around the world,” said studio manager Sunni Pavlovic, in a statement. “With this new investment, our studio is able to scale up development efforts to focus on making the best game possible in the same spirit as flOw, Flower, and Journey. We’ll also begin laying the infrastructure to self-publish, market, and distribute on our own terms for this next project and beyond.”
Thatgamecompany’s boss is Jenova Chen, a visionary game creator who has created some of the most unusual — and unique — console games to date with Flow, Flower and Journey. In Journey, the player goes on an arduous journey to the top of a mountain. It is an emotional trip, one without any fighting or dialogue. Chen gave an emotional talk about how the team struggled to make Journey and actually fell into bankruptcy, even as it won numerous Game of the Year awards.
Since publishing Journey via Sony in 2012, the team split up, raised $5.5 million in funding from Benchmark Capital, and reassembled itself. That money has enabled the company to move beyond its three-game deal with Sony and start anew.
It is “hard at work to make an emotionally engaging experience centered around human connections for players of all ages and backgrounds.”