Thatgamecompany is at it again. The makers of flOw, Flower, and Journey today teased its upcoming Sky. According to the official website, in Sky you will "Take flight with friends above the clouds in our new social adventure game."
Interestingly, it's not coming to PlayStation. Yet? It's starting off—soon—on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Now, we don't typically cover those platforms here at Gaming Nexus, but for thatgamecompany, we easily make an exception. Despite wanting to go with a wider audience, this conversely means it'll be the first thatgamecompany game that I won't be able to play. I don't happen to have an iPhone. So, hopefully, it's only Apple first, then console and/or Android next.
In the first details released, thatgamecompany says it's been working on Sky for a few years. Ever since the launch of Journey, letter after letter poured into thatgamecompany of families, friends, and loved ones certainly cherishing Journey, but wishing they could've played the game together (as opposed to being paired with random and anonymous people online). My own seven-year-old periodically forgets that Journey is rando online-only co-op instead of couch co-op, and she'll ask me if we can play Journey together. Breaks my heart every time I have to tell her no.
It's been five years since then. The indefatigable Geoff Keighley sat down with thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen to discuss Sky. Here's the video, below. Chen says that "the feeling we are all connected" is the inspiration for Sky. There's also gameplay footage in there. Doing the swoopy-style of flight familiar to Journey fans. This game is set above the clouds, with huge, ruined civilizations that've existed there from before. Chen says he's trying to build a theme park to interact with, but also open areas to explore "for half a day" if you wanted to. But it will be a constantly evolving space, where things you've experienced before in-game might change; or there might be new places that've opened up. A thatgamecompany MMO? I'm already trying to figure out how to take a second mortgage out on my home to buy that new $1,000 iPhone X to play this!
Chen also admits that Sky took a long time for his team to figure out. They're going new place for thatgamecompany. And they weren't just trying to figure out the math behind making a shared online experience—they were trying to figure out the emotional investments required in such an undertaking, and in what they wanted to convey to players. Player interactions will take many forms, not just the one-note bing that players shared in Journey. Sky will have the players help each other, compete with each other, protect each other, etc.
According to Chen: Flower was more poetry with seven verses, Journey was more of a parable, and Sky will be more like a television series with seasons for them to keep introducing new things.
Hit the jump for a letter from thatgamecompany in regards to today's reveal:
It’s been a very busy summer in the studio as the team has continued to push forward on iterating design concepts, multiplayer dynamics and starting to add artistic and audio polish to the game. The day has finally come for us to start sharing our next project to the world… and we do so with more than a few butterflies in our stomachs and plenty of joy.
Today, we announce our next game – Sky – a social adventure game that will be coming soon on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.
Sky has been a few years in the making. After the release of Journey, so many fans wrote to tell us how much they enjoyed playing the game with their spouse, children or loved ones, and asked if we could create a game where they could play together. We wanted as many people to love games, and so we were encouraged to explore this idea at thatgamecompany. Which brings our games, for the first time, to mobile – a platform that many have access to, the world over.
It’s hard to explain the game, but a good place would be to say that Sky is a game specially created to be played, and shared, among loved ones and family. If you can imagine the delight of visiting a theme park where lasting memories are made, we envision Sky will sometimes feel like that. We know many of our fans have questions about what we have been up to, and so alongside a gameplay teaser video and new artwork, we have included a conversation with Geoff Keighley to share more insight into our development process with you.
As we work hard to deliver this game, we invite our fans to sign up for our newsletter where we will be sharing more information about Sky and developments within our studio. You can do that on our Sky page, linked here.
We are grateful for your support and we are excited to hear what you think. We look forward to meeting you above the clouds.
With much appreciation,
– the team at thatgamecompany