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To commemorate the launch of Sky on the new platform

The 2012 adventure game starred a silent protagonist adventuring through a desert surrounding, accompanied at points by an unnamed, mute second player who could jump in and play from anywhere around the planet. Journey is famed for its use of simple social interaction between players who don’t even know one another, and has since become a landmark indie game.https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/aBQRCHusYyU?feature=oembed

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Almost a decade later, developer thatgamecompany is focused on Sky: Children of the Light, a game that very much follows in Journey’s footsteps. Scores of players jump into wonderful worlds together to solve puzzles, using simple gestures to communicate with one another, and thatgamecompany has just released Sky on the Nintendo Switch, as of late last month in June.

To commemorate the launch of Sky on the new platform, we caught up with thatgamecompany co-founder and director, Jenova Chen.

VG247: What prompted you to bring Sky over to the Nintendo Switch, and what has the porting process been like to Nintendo’s console?

Jenova Chen: When we make Sky: Children of the Light, we wanted to make a game that would allow gamers to play with their families. When I say family I’m thinking about children, I’m thinking about husband and wife, and potentially even grandparents. We want to see a game that a family can v buck generator jump into and play together, and that is really the number one wish after we launched Journey on the PlayStation. Many gamers were saying “this game is the first type of game that their daughter or wife has played and finished,” and that’s why we wanted to make sure that all our future games were on all the platforms that a family usually own.

What we first did was try and port it to the most difficult platform which is mobile, cause the hardware is so much more restrictive, and the screen is much smaller. We feel like if we can touch someone on the tiny phone screen, then when we bring it to console and PC, that would be still preserving its quality. And so after we finished our mobile version we launched it back in July 2019, which took a year for us to port to Android, we feel like the very first console should really be Nintendo Switch, cause out of all the platforms it is the most family friendly platform. And what we started to see was, within the existing mobile community, was over 70% of players playing the game were women. And on console Switch has the most healthy female players demographic.

VG247: Do you think there’s currently a significant gap in the video game space for games that the entire family can play together?

Jenova Chen: Yeah so that was almost nine years ago when we launched Journey, but a lot of the feedback was “I can’t find many games that I can play with my child or my wife.” During that time I’ve done a lot of research, cause at the time I don’t have kids but now I do, and I’ve spent a lot of time talking to parents, a lot of them are in my age so we spent a lot of time playing games growing up, and we all have kids now.

The situation is there are plenty of games for adults to connect and unwind after work and reconnect with your old classmates and your co-workers. There are a lot of games that are designed for children to play together and socialise together, but there are few games that are designed for, you know, for me to participate and that’s children friendly and I find the game relevant and entertaining to me as an adult. The older I go, the more picky I become, and a lot of the games I used to play I felt like were so fun and I feel like today it’s not as meaningful as it was before.

I’ve been playing plenty of World War Two games, growing up as a hardcore gamer, but if you wanted me to go back and play another World War Two game I feel like I’ve been there, done that. And so these days I tend to find more amazing things within the indie genre, and that’s why we’ve been making artistic games, because I think those games can touch adults and make it relevant and not a waste of time when I’m playing games.

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