Despite being a breakout success, thatgamecompany's "Journey" still isn't making any money for the studio. According to Jenova Chen, the majority of profits are being used recover the millions of dollars needed for the game's development

"Sony owns all the rights to the games, and they also make the majority of the profit off the games." Chen tells Joystiq.

"We were at a spot where, if we couldn’t figure out the next game, or find the next deal, then at the end of Journey we’d run out of money. When the game makes money, the money first goes back to pay back the money they’ve invested. So, that’s going to take a while – Journey cost multiple millions of dollars to make. Once that money is recouped, then we will get royalties."

Thankfully, Chen believes thatgamecompany will start to see those royalties from Sony's next batch of payouts. The studio's next game will be multi-platform, funded by a venture capital firm, and it's clear the studio is through with platform exclusivity deals.

"Well, exclusivity is a problem, right? Because we as a company are inspired to make something that helps people and makes some positive change for people who play it," Chen said. "I want to make sure, if we do make our next game, and if we put our heart and soul into it, people need to be able to play it."

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Coming out of Destructoid, how the tears of 25 testers saved "Journey," what would become the bestselling PSN game to date.


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By Kevin Kelly

Since thatgamecompany started in 2006, they have amazed us with three games, “fl0w,” “Flower, “and “Journey.” Each one of them have been very different than the

We see video games as a form of interactive entertainment, but what kind of feeling do they communicate to you? They can hit a wide range on the emotional palette, but one thing they all communicate to you is a sense of accomplishment, which is something that watching a movie doesn’t do. But what about doing that, while also hitting appropriate and new emotional notes?

The reason we founded the company is to push the boundary for emotion in games. The idea for Journey came to Chen originally back in 2006, after a period where he had been playing “World of Warcraft” for three years. But the problem was that all of the players he met in the game only wanted to talk about how to bring down a certain boss, rather than sharing emotions or becoming friends, and as a result he felt very lonely in the game.

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Fans of thatgamecompany's downloadable hit can check out concept and environment art from Journey in the upcoming art book.

Details after the jump.

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What happens when a bunch of designers from around the world get to show off some of their new, innovative, or just out there ideas at GDC 2012 on the same stage where Flow and Katamari Damacy made their debuts?

Hit the jump to find out.

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The annual Game Developer's Conference honors those who make the games that we collectively sink millions of dollars into buying each year. The week-long trade show is filled with events and activities that nod to this fact, such as the Game Design Challenge. This year, noted creatives Jason Rohrer ("Passage"), John Romero ("Doom") and Jenova Chen ("Flower") faced off in a competition to see who could create a game that is also a religion. Rohrer emerged victorious with his unique mod of Mojang's "Minecraft."


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