Jenova Chen, founder of thatgamecompany, is celebrating a new beginning today with news that the developer has acquired $5.5 million in funding to help it become a full-service independent studio.
“Today I am pleased to announce thatgamecompany has raised funding to develop and release our games independently,” wrote Chen on thatgamecompany's blog, explaining, “This enables us to bring our games to more platforms and provide our players the highest quality experience at every point of contact.”
The funding comes from Benchmark Capital, a venture capitol firm that has also provided cash flow to Meteor Entertainment, makers of the upcoming mech-combat game Hawken. Speaking to the lucrative partnership, Chen added: “Together we share a vision for bringing emotionally compelling interactive entertainment to players worldwide.”
thatgamecompany's last title, Journey, became the fastest-selling PlayStation Network game in the history of Sony's online service when it was released this March. It was also the last of three PSN-exclusive games that were developed for Sony by thatgamecompany under a now-expired deal. Thanks to Benchmark Capital's backing, Chen and his team plan to bring their games to a wider audience, beginning with an unnamed multi-platform title currently in development.
“I feel privileged to be riding shotgun with [Jenova]. The ambitions for Thatgamecompany are very exciting to me,” said Mitch Lasky with Benchmark, in comments obtained by VentureBeat. “It’s a great time for Jenova to be completely unfettered when it comes to innovation. He is ready to spread his wings now.”