The makers of Flower and Journey have successfully fundraised themselves into multiplatform development. Venture Beat reports that the nine-person studio raised $5.5 million from Benchmark Capital – which also funded Riot Games (League of Legends) – and will be expanding outward now that their 3-game publishing deal with Sony has completed.
Benchmark’s Mitch Lasky lauded the work of the independent studio, appraising its potential within the larger industry now that it has gone independent. “Jenova has a chance to be the John Lasseter of the video games business…I feel privileged to be riding shotgun with him. The ambitions for Thatgamecompany are very exciting to me. We are at a point in the video game industry that the industry is hollowed out. It is out of touch with the zeitgeist, creating sequels and formulaic games over and over again. The energy comes from the indies.”
“We are at a confluence of financial interest, the ability to self publish, and the broadening of consumer tastes that favors the indie movement,” Lasky continued, “We have a democratization of publishing, the world has changed, and the audiences like the authenticity and authorship of the indies. It’s a great time for Jenova to be completely unfettered when it comes to innovation. He is ready to spread his wings now.”
“We got so many emails from fans saying they wished they could play our games on other platforms,” explained Jenova Chen, founder of Thatgamecompany, “We make games for human beings, not just gamers. Young, old, men, women, and from all countries. We want to change the concept of what a game is and show society what a game can be.”