Thanks to the incredible success of Journey, Jenova Chen and his team at thatgamecompany feel an incredible amount of pressure to meet players’ expectations with their next title, Sky.
When asked on the latest episode of our monthly interview show IGN Unfiltered if he believes Journey is his seminal masterpiece, Chen said he thinks about it quite often, noting how many great film directors’ best work was made when they were young, and they were never able to top it. “If you look at The Godfather… even Stanley Kubrick, I wouldn’t say his last movie is my favorite,” Chen said.
“It has been a humungous pressure,” he said of following up Journey. “Every day I will go to the office looking at the two Guinness records on the award trophy table—it’s like the most award-winning for an indie game. I was just like, ‘There’s no way I can do a game that’s on par with Journey.’ Even if it’s on par people will still be disappointed,” he explained.
“I just feel like I’m on a quest to fail if I try to even compete with myself,” Chen added, noting he’s curious to see how people will respond to thatgamecompany’s upcoming social adventure game, Sky.
Don’t miss our full IGN Unfiltered interview with Chen above for more from the brilliant mind behind Journey, Flower, and Flow, including how his struggles during the development of Journey inspired the game’s emotional snow sequence.
Alex Osborn is a freelance writer for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @alexcosborn.