Thatgamecompany likens next game to 'watching E.T. for first time'
Not much is known about Thatgamecompany's newest yet-to-be-announced (or really talked about) title. The studio which has brought us games like Flower, Flow, and most notably Journey has kept its next project a closely guarded secret. But in a New Yorker piece covering the company and its past games, co-founder Jenova Chen talked a little about the overall scope and vision of their next game.
Referring to the project as "the bastard child" of the aforementioned titles, Chen compared it to seeing the film E.T. for the first time, with a goal of giving people who play it "a memory as vivid and emotionally gratifying as their most cherished childhood moments." Themes of connection, nostalgia, self-reflection, all common in TGC's past work, are said to be present.
As for gameplay, Chen hinted that the game will "truly be accessible," allowing people "to play with the ones they love."
“A lot of people asked us why Journey didn’t let them play with friends or family, and obviously we had a reason—because that would have defeated the purpose of the game," Chen explained. For those unfamiliar, Journey had you explore a vast desert as a faceless, nameless character heading towards a mountain. Occasionally you can meet up with an identical avatar (controlled by a stranger via online matchmaking) and journey together. What makes the experience unique is that even though communication is limited to combinations of one-note chirps, with no words ever appearing onscreen, you are able to work together to solve puzzles and explore the remnants of a forgotten civilization together.
It truly is a work of art, but also something that could be very hard for Thatgamecompany to live up to. It appears the new game will allow for some sort of local co-op.
"But for a game to be truly be accessible," Chen added, "to both children and adults and to men and women, it has to allow people to play with the ones they love.”
And on a plus note, Chen, who walked the floors of E3, revealed that he saw "no one is doing what we're doing." Sounds promising.