Journey and Sky developer thatgamecompany nets $160 million

by Brandon Pham
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Journey and Sky Children of Light developer thatgamecompany has secured 160 million dollars in investment to create new interactive play experience. Venture capital firms TVG and Sequoia led the funding round which also adds Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull joining the studio as a principal advisor for creative culture and strategic growth.

thatgamecompany will use the cash to expand its development team organization infrastructure and pursuing
new projects ‘that deepens human connection’ through gameplay. The studio founder and CEO Jenova Chen said that game company wants to create a title that emotionally appeals to people of all ages, identities, and backgrounds within the single player experiences. “This is somewhere where animated feature films have had genre defining moments with Snow White and Toy Story and we will continue working toward this moment in the gaming world,” said Chen.

'Sky: Children of the Light' 0.7.0 and the Season of ...

“With the advisory support from legendary Ed Catmull and the financial banking from TVG and Sequoia we are here to double down thatgamecompany’s pursuit and continue to push the boundaries between art and human connection
and video games.”

This is obviously fantastic news! I’ve been a huge fan of thatgamecompany so much that we’ve actually had people like Cecil Kim, Reika Yoshino, and Eric Koch come on the show to talk about their experiences of working there. All guests often highlighted Jenova Chen as a genius that can come up with these innovative ideas but also has the business savviness to deliver on these promises. This is clearly demonstrated with this news raking in 160 million dollars. thatgamecompany had its roots back in the early Playstation days and they were behind many big titles back when downloadable content for the consoles were a new idea. They’ve been able to partner with Sony for many years to publish their first titles but started venturing out on their own with titles like Sky: The Children of Light. To be frank, like many, the announcement for Sky: The Children of Light for mobile devices was very surprising, to me.  Mobile games nowadays is a very saturated market. So unless your company is hardcore and is an established mobile developer, it was a sector that was very hard to break in, essentially. Especially since, thatgamecompany was coming from a console background and had no prior mobile experience, whatsoever.

What the success of Sky: Children of Light means is that it further echos Jenova’s genius, and illustrates how thatgamecompany jumped into a crowded mobile market and was able to deliver a captivating and successful title, amassing a huge following. This, in turn, attracted the legendary talents like Ed Catmull, from Pixar fame, who sees a bright future for the company and personally wants to help bridge that gap between film and video games with the company. The new investment of 160 million dollars can and will go a long way.

Unsurprisingly, I’m always about game developers getting paid, especially, if they’re doing awesome work. So congratulations for all the people at thatgamecompany as I’m looking forward to the next round and champagne on them  now that they’re loaded.

This is very exciting time for game developers and furthers the trend of lot of money put into games nowadays. Along with the next big thing like blockchain and nft, a lot of eyes are on our industry right now. If you have a great idea with a good track record you’re either being acquired or people are giving you money.

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