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Customer Discussions > Video Games forum

Journey cost "multiple millions of dollars", no royalties for a year

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Showing 1-25 of 103 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 13, 2013 7:30:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2013 7:32:34 PM PDT
got mayo?™ says:
I can't help but to find this story amazing. These guys bankupt their company in a deal with Sony, win multiple awards and prestige and have yet to make a dime for their work.

Had to basically start square one with a venture capitalist and head back into the wild. Nothing to complain about though. Move forward.

Then you have Team Meat, which scrapped a game together between two guys, launched on XBL and became rich overnight. Yet those outspoken dudes do nothing but run their mouth essentially on the idea of 'all the money they 'could've made if' forward 2+ years and they are still not over it...

Just an entertaining observation of the Indie scene.



"Thatgamecompany founder Jenova Chen has clarified earlier comments about not receiving royalties from Sony on Journey, the fastest-selling PlayStation Network game to date.

In an interview with Joystiq, Chen said the independent developer wasn't counting on making money from Journey straight away, even though he believes it has broken even.

"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," he said.

"But for almost a year, we are not going to be relying on the money from Journey to keep the company going."

As Journey wrapped up, completing a three-game deal with Sony, thatgamecompany had to find another source of funding so it could work on a new project and wait for its royalties. It pitched a new title to venture capitalist firms, eventually securing $5.6 million from Benchmark Company in northern summer 2012 - just after Journey's launch, but too late to retain many staff who left when the indie went bankrupt.

"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," Chen said.

Being funded by a venture capitalist group rather thna a publisher isn't much of a change, Chen added.

"When we switched to a venture capital, we raised the money because we pitched the project; we sold them on the vision. They believe it, they want to support us to make that happen. So, creatively I've never gotten any input from the venture capital. It's actually very similar, we are always ourselves, and no one is really messing around with us. With Sony, it was the same thing," he said.

Thatgamecompany hasn't announced its next project yet, but it's expected to use touch controls."

Posted on Mar 13, 2013 7:32:57 PM PDT
Why haven't they talked to Steve Perry yet? It seems like the obvious direction.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013 7:34:03 PM PDT
got mayo?™ says:
Reunion Tour?

Posted on Mar 13, 2013 7:34:07 PM PDT
John McClane says:
How many studios is the PS3 going to bankrupt this gen?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013 7:35:22 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Mar 13, 2013 7:40:46 PM PDT
J. Pardee says:
It's crazy to think that ThatGameCompany wouldn't have received any royalty yet for Journey, especially when it has won so many awards and was a huge success. I'm glad that they didn't go bankrupt though since TGC is an amazing company and I can't wait for their next game. I'm actually glad that they aren't tied down to Sony now so more people can have access to what I am sure will be another amazing game by them.

Posted on Mar 13, 2013 7:44:01 PM PDT
StriderNeo15 says:
Should've used kickstarter.

Posted on Mar 13, 2013 9:12:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2013 9:13:34 PM PDT
Lucanus says:
A couple million to develop a 90 minute game? Seems expensive.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013 9:16:17 PM PDT
Flores. says:
90 minutes? You're doing it wrong.

Posted on Mar 13, 2013 9:17:32 PM PDT
Other than Chen who is even left in thatgamecompany? As much as I loved their games it looks like Journey was the game that ripped that studio apart.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013 9:18:52 PM PDT
My first run was about 2 hours, he isn't that far off.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013 9:20:58 PM PDT
StriderNeo15 says:
I don't think I ever hit 2 hours, though I haven't gotten around to the offline, full-exploration mode playthrough yet.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013 9:32:45 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 14, 2013 3:13:44 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013 9:35:42 PM PDT
J. Pardee says:
I wouldn't consider a couple million too expensive when compared to the cost of making movies and other video games. Wasn't Halo 4's cost over 100 million?

Posted on Mar 13, 2013 10:52:17 PM PDT
Multiple millions of dollars for journey? Really???

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013 11:26:39 PM PDT
Flores. says:
Now there you go.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 12:16:25 AM PDT
Dukeshire says:
It is okay to admit Journey is short. Your PS3 will not stop loving you. Three hours for 15 bucks? Not that enticing. But I got it on sale and will give it a go.

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 12:48:54 AM PDT
Journey is around 90 minutes, but no one said it's a terrible 90 minutes. Anyway, it's good to hear thatgamecompany is going multiplatform; the last sentence of the OP stated their next game will use touch controls. Wii U, 3DS, Vita and/or PS4?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 12:52:37 AM PDT

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 2:30:24 AM PDT
They need to have iOS and Android version. You would have made royalties. Make it on XBox Live as well.

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 2:31:32 AM PDT

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 3:48:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2013 3:59:38 AM PDT
Lucanus says:
Perhaps. I was rather surprised about Journey's cost, I figured it was next to nothing, given the shortness combined with being simple in nature.

Simple doesn't mean bad, I love flower because it is simple. I just would not have pinned Juorney as a few million, I am pretty sure that is what Wii games like Galaxy costs. The most expensive Wii game was Red Steel at 12 million.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 3:55:23 AM PDT
But at the same time that game is very polished.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 3:58:45 AM PDT
Lucanus says:
Fair point, darn great musical score as well.

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 4:23:53 AM PDT
Not sure what Sony has to do with this story. Folks need to learn to read a little better.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  30
Total posts:  103
Initial post:  Mar 13, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 14, 2013

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