Journey developers leaving thatgamecompany

Following the incredible success of PSN darling Journey, you’d be forgiven for thinking thatgamecompany would sit down and start plotting its next move as a group. Instead, developers are leaving the studio, with at least four staffers packing their bags – including co-founder / co-president Kellee Santiago.

Commenting on the amicable departure, Santiago explains to Gamasutra she’s learned from her experiences with thatgamecompany – where she worked on Flow, Flower and this year’s Journey – but it’s now time for her to move on.

After doing these three games, I think it was a really great opportunity for all of us to look at what we’ve learned and what I’ve taken from that experience, and go forth and take it into new arenas.

While she’s not saying quite where she’s off to at this stage, Santiago has nothing but good thoughts for fellow co-founder Jenova Chen, who has announced thatgamecompany has started work on its next project, after completing its three-game contract with Sony.

Also announcing her thatgamecompany departure today is Journey producer Robin Hunicke, who has jumped straight into a new job at Tiny Speck, working on creative MMO Glitch, claiming the studio “charmed her completely”.


Hunicke will be joining the game’s San Francisco studio, working with former EA Maxis colleague Justin Quimby. She will be providing “leadership in game design”, something she’s surely learned through working on games such as Spore, Boom Blox and MySims.

It’s not the first connection to tie Hunicke to Tiny Speck – late last year, she was the person who introduced the studio to Katamari creator Keita Takahashi, who is now also working on Glitch.

Both of these departures come hot on the heels of Journey developers Chris Bell and John Nesky, who left thatgamecompany earlier in the month to create their own new studio, The Wilderness, working on indie puzzle platformer Way.

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