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Journey's Jenova Chen: "people are tired of the same things"

It's not 2005 or 2007.

People are "tired" of the same old games - that's why today's new PSN game Journey has been universally acclaimed, reckons creator Jenova Chen.

Eurogamer's Journey review ended with 9/10. Eurogamer awarded previous thatgamecompany PSN games Flower (2009) 8/10, and Flow (2007) 7/10.

"People are just getting tired of the same things," Chen, co-founder of thatgamecompany (Flow, Flower, Journey), told GamesIndustry International. "Maybe when Flower was launched three years ago people weren't necessarily that sick of the [traditional] games.

"The most important thing is that it's 2012 - it's not 2005, it's not 2007. Humans always have a desire for bigger variety, we started eating just fruit and raw meat, but look at how how diverse they type of food we're eating today is.

"Secondly, we are just better as making games. We learn and we improve our skills. And Journey is also more conventional compared to the other games."

Flow was an arty game about eating other micro-organisms, growing bigger, and eating bigger micro-organisms. Flower was an arty game about restoring colour to the world as the wind blowing petals. Journey is a game about two strangers on a journey - one is you, the other a player pulled at random from PSN. Journey is exceptional when this co-op bond is explored.

Chen continued: "Everything I just talked about means sh** to a kid.

"Humans always have a desire for bigger variety, we started eating just fruit and raw meat, but look at how how diverse they type of food we're eating today is."

Jenova Chen, co-founder, Thatgamecompany

"Everybody keeps talking about social games, but the social games today are not really socialised. You play an online multiplayer game, and the technology allows you to bring 64 people together but what they're doing is focusing on their own power. Not on connecting or being friends or having a shared emotional state together."

"Entertainment, in the end, is a food industry for feeling."

Chen admitted being "lucky" to have Sony as a publishing partner - a platform holder able to lend credibility to, and point attention at, otherwise odd looking games. The man responsible for inking thatgamecompany's now fulfilled three-game contract? Phil Harrison - he who has just joined Microsoft to play a pivotal role in the Xbox business.

Will Harrison swoop on thatgamecompany for Microsoft?

Behind the Thatgamecompany scenes.
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Robert Purchese avatar

Robert Purchese

Associate Editor

Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.

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