Journey developer breaks free of Sony thanks to new funding

Thatgamecompany, developer of acclaimed PlayStation hit Journey, has raised $5.5 million allowing the studio to make and release games independently.

This means they no longer have to rely on Sony Computer Entertainment America to create games and are free from the limitations that having such a publisher would impose on them creatively. Since opening in 2006, Thatgamecompany has developed its titles as part of a three-game partnership with Sony and ceded some control over its projects.

With this new funding, company co-founder and creative director Jenova Chen says the developer can release its games to more platforms and provide what it sees as an optimal experience to players.

Benchmark Capital invested the $5.5 million in a Series A financing, and general partner Mitch Lasky will be joining Thatgamecompany's board of directors. He compared the studio's vision to that of what Pixar brought to animation, and Benchmark was "excited" to support that approach.

Thatgamecompany released a total of three games for Sony: Flow, Flower, and Journey which became the fastest-selling U.S. PSN game ever.