Happy 7th birthday, thatgamecompany! What an incredible year it’s been, full of many wonderful reasons to celebrate. Here’s a recap of how far we’ve come since our last birthday:
Thanks to the many players who continue to pour out their support, keeping us inspired through their letters, music, art, and cosplay costumes. The response to Journey continues to overwhelm us, and we feel so lucky to have so many players touched by our work.
Journey has been recognized with over 120 industry honors in categories spanning Audio, Design, Innovation, Art, Online Multiplayer, and more. Of those, Journey earned 33 awards for Overall Game of the Year among games in all genres and platforms.
More reasons for celebrating this past year: Read more >
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Seeing how Journey has resonated with players across the world, we wanted to work with the Santa Monica Studio to provide a deeper look into the visual development behind this critically acclaimed hit. So, we’re excited to let everyone know that we will be presenting you with a wonderful first-time look at the extensive artwork that went into bringing Journey to life. It’s the first book directly inspired by one of our games and is titled The Art of Journey and will be available for purchase in September.
This book, designed and written by Matt Nava, art director on Journey, provides an insider’s view into the stylistic influences, narrative functions, and game design goals that shaped the final look of the game. Readers will discover how Journey’s landscapes, cut-scenes, and much-loved robed traveler came to be. For your enjoyment, The Art of Journey will come bound as an embossed hardcover book filled with gorgeous concept art, intricate pencil drawings, and 3D models printed in full color on art-quality paper.
In addition, the book has an innovative “augmented reality” feature powered by the Daqri 4D platform. By downloading a free companion app, readers will be able to point their smartphone or tablet’s camera at special images and see animated 3D models appear straight from the game. It’s a truly unique and innovative way to more fully experience the artwork of Journey.
We are especially proud to include a tribute in the book to the game’s players. Journey’s touching experience and memorable visuals have inspired many players to create their own artwork. Matt has collected some of the team’s favorites in a special fan art section which I hope will speak to those of you who have been moved by the Journey experience.
The Art of Journey will be accompanied by a voucher that will allow readers to download a free copy of the game’s soundtrack to their PS3.
Please continue to stay tuned for updates and sneak peeks for The Art of Journey. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the Journey Collector’s Edition, which will be available on store shelves this coming Tuesday, August 28.
Posted by Aaron on March 29th, 2012
Just off a wave of critical acclaim for Thatgamecompany’s newest PlayStation Network title, Journey, big changes are afoot at the studio: As the studio begins work on a new game, co-founder and president Kellee Santiago departs.
Gamasutra sources say that other key staff departures may be forthcoming as well. Santiago declined to confirm or to speak to her colleagues’ plans, but suggested future announcements are ‘likely.’ As for her own departure, it’s entirely amicable, Santiago tells us, explaining that it’s simply time to seek new challenges.
Santiago co-founded the studio six years ago with creative director Jenova Chen, but the two first teamed up even prior to Thatgamecompany. While they were University of Southern California students, Chen and Santiago worked together on an experimental game called Cloud, and launched the company based on a mutual vision to create new forms of expression through video games.
Thatgamecompany, which has enjoyed much support from Sony, has released PSN titles FlOw, Flower and Journey, and the most recent game is viewed by many critics and fans as the attainment of the style and vision for which the studio aimed through the first two.
“After doing these three games, I think it was a really great opportunity for all of us to look at what we’ve learned and what I’ve taken from that experience, and go forth and take it into new arenas,” Santiago tells Gamasutra.
In addition to the learning experience of founding a studio and gaining exposure to all its inherent roles and responsibilities, Santiago had the opportunity to take a leading role in establishing an oft-publicized unique internal creative process the studio applies to all its games.
So, Journey came out two weeks ago. It’s been really busy around here since then, especially with The Art of Video Games exhibit opening the week of release! Anyways, let’s begin!
We have received so many gleaming reviews from journalists all over the world, and thousands of tweets, hundreds of Facebook comments, and hundreds of e-mails that it is impossible for me to do justice with a keyboard and a bunch of letters. So, let’s start off with the reviews:
Joystiq | Journey review: I want to go there
“I bring this up, because I don’t want to be misconstrued as generic or uninspired when I say that Journey is an awesome game. In the most classical, archaic sense of the word, Journey is a beautiful, evocative and unequivocally transcendental experience.”
thesixthaxis | Review: Journey
“Never before has a game illustrated such tragic fragility with such humanity and character – Journey might live up to its name on many levels, but on the deepest, most personal level possible thatgamecompany manage to transcend all expectations.”
A.V. Club | Journey Review
“Journey wants players to press onward, but isn’t so insistent that they can’t take time to experience the delightful animation of sliding on sand, or swimming in wonderous air. “
The Escapist | Journey Review
“Journey is best experienced with someone at your side, but you might want to play a few times by yourself simply to stand around and gawk at the stunning imagery.”
G4TV | Journey Review for PS3 – (Video by Adam Sessler)
““Dammit,” was the first word out of my mouth after beating Journey. I was unhappy because I knew this review would be the hardest review I’ve ever written. If I had my way, I would simply write three words, email them to my editor and push back from my desk. Those words? ‘Go play it.’”
Here are some amazing fan responses to Journey:
YouTube | BROD3O: JOURNEY – An Emotional Review Of A PS3/PSN Exclusive Game
“There’s just so many amazing parts in the game. Just please, do yourself a favor. Play it, come back and tell me what you think. But Journey is this generation’s Ico, if not better. Well, in fact it is better.”
Twitter | @zackjewell
“I want to thank you guys/gals for making Journey. It is one the best and most moving games I have ever played.”
“I just finished Journey. I can’t even describe how or WHY it moved me, but it’s changed my perception of what a game can be.”
“Seriously. My jaw actually dropped a few times and there have been moments when I could almost literally feel my heart soaring.”
Facebook | Dennis Pena
“I just finished the game. I got choked up at the ending. The game seems like a parable to life. I’m not sure if it was the big score or if it’s the heavenly kingdom that you eventually reach, but it was very spiritual.”
Facebook | Peder Bergenwall
“Never before has the gamepad felt less like a mechanical piece of equipment, and more like a direct extension of my mind to me in the “game,” than with Journey. It was genuinely giggling to myself, feeling like a child, as I slid down the sandy dunes.”
Again, we’ve received thousands and thousands of messages from ecstatic fans, and wish to thank every single one of you! Remember, we always love to hear your thoughts on our games!
How has Journey affected you?
Posted by Aaron on March 12th, 2012
It is an incredibly exciting time for PlayStation Network and PlayStation Plus. This week we not only saw a midnight launch of Mass Effect 3 on PlayStation Network, day and date with the retail release, but we offered access to one of the best games of the year and one of the best downloadable games ever—Journey—a whole week early to PlayStation Plus subscribers. Every month PlayStation Plus subscribers are getting more and more great content out of their subscriptions, and this week’s early access marked a new milestone.
PlayStation Plus now not only offers gamers early access to demos and betas but also to full downloadable games, in addition to the tons of free and discounted content and extra exclusive features like online storage for game saves and automatic updates. That’s why we are so excited to be able to deliver Journey, one of the most highly-anticipated games of the year, to our most die-hard fans, our PS Plus subscribers, a whole week early so they can experience it before everyone else.
Click the “Read More” button to see our latest Developer Diary.
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