It wasn't a matter of the graphics needing improvement or any fundamental failure of the gameplay: apparently, Sony just didn't feel that after two years' development, "Journey" was where it needed to be emotionally for gamers. The ending wasn't testing well with users and Sony was ready to end their commitment to thatgamecompany's latest title. But with some coaxing, thatgamecompany founder Jenova Chen was able to get a third year out of Sony for continued development.
The problem was that "Journey" took a full four years to make.
During Chen's D.I.C.E. talk about the game's development (which our Kevin Kelly covered here), Chen discusses the challenges for his team in striking the right emotional tone for "Journey" even as they went unpaid into the last half year of development.
Last summer, the developer announced that they were going indie thanks to the help of $5 million in additional funding, although since then they've been quiet on what's next for them--but whatever it is could be multiplatform. Thatgamecompany's Social Media Director Aaron Grommesh on going indie:
The key thing about the funding is it allows us to remain autonomous, not necessarily to make bigger projects. We're going to make a game that fits the platform(s) and, most importantly, the idea of the game itself.
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