Journey Creator Wants Next Game to Be “One Level Above”

Journey creator Jenova Chen wants his next game to be more commercially successful than Journey, with a player-to-player connection that is a level above what we observed in the experimental game.

Speaking with Polygon during the DICE Summit, Chen admitted that Journey was a financial disaster that bankrupted thatgamecompany. While it did make its money back plus some and was met with critical acclaim, it wasn’t well-received by a big enough audience, in Chen’s opinion. He said:

“I wouldn’t say that the development of Journey was a successful example of game development. We bankrupted the company.”

Chen now believes that limiting Journey to one platform was detrimental to its success. He said:

“I think to have a financial success, that is going to change everyone, it has to be much bigger than a game on the PlayStation platform.”

Now, he wants the next game he’s working on to be the commercial success he wanted Journey to be. But his motives aren’t selfish — he feels an obligation to prove something to the game industry, publishers, and prospective developers. He explained:

“I run into a lot of lost and frustrated students who study games to work on great art, but then find there is no place for them. I feel responsible for them because I showed them that is possible, but there is no place for them.”

Chen now wants to make a more commercially successful game to prove the viability of this more artistic approach to gaming so that those “lost and frustrated” students have a place to go. “My resolution is to create a big financial success,” he said.

Journey connected players in a deep and unusual way, and player connections is something that is guiding Chen in the creation of his next game. He said:

“Journey was focused on connection. I think we are trying to do one level above that with this game.”

Chen then added that “It’s very likely that’s impossible,” not wanting to set up unreasonable expectations for his next title.

What did you think of Journey?

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