thatgamecompany brings a radical focus to game design by prioritising the emotional experiences of the player through immersive engagement in beautifully realised interactive environments, rather than through action, conflict or complex challenges.
Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago, both graduates of the University of Southern California Interactive Media MFA program, founded thatgamecompany on the strength of Chen’s award-winning student game Cloud (2005). Their subsequent games flOw (2007) and flower (2009) are built around easy-to-master gameplay and frictionless gliding, flying or floating through the game world. The sense of discovery this produces is inspired by the transformative power of nature. When pitching flower to Sony, Chen said ‘I want to create a game where the people who play this game feel like they’re spreading love and positive energy to its surroundings.’
Their most recent game, journey, (2012) develops these concepts further and introduces online play, in which players can interact with other travellers on the journey.