Mar 03, 2022
thatgamecompany Advances Its Mission to Foster Human Connection Through Interactive Play Experiences with $160M Investment
As Journey Nears its 10th Anniversary and its Spiritual Successor Sky: Children of the Light Grows, Studio Looks to Expand to Support its Community and Create New Experiences While Retaining its Core, Independent Values
Pixar Co-Founder Ed Catmull to Join thatgamecompany as Principal Advisor
Santa Monica, CA - March 3, 2022 - thatgamecompany, the studio dedicated to creating timeless interactive entertainment that inspires human connection worldwide, and creators of critically acclaimed experiences flOw, Flower, Journey and Sky, has received a $160 million investment from TPG and Sequoia. Additionally, Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull will join thatgamecompany as the principal advisor on creative culture and strategic growth. thatgamecompany’s award-winning Sky: Children of the Light - which has generated more than 160 million downloads across iOS and Android devices, and The Nintendo Switch™ - has a growing, global community of players drawn to its heartwarming narrative and collaborative game design.
“thatgamecompany is a driving force for the advancement of games’ deeper emotional impact,” said Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar. “I’m honored that Jenova and the studio have asked me to share my learnings on building an enduring creative culture befitting its ambition to provide enriching and accessible interactive experiences for a worldwide audience.”
The funding will allow thatgamecompany to grow its development team and organization infrastructure to deepen human connection through gameplay, make technological advancements to enhance the player experience, and service Sky’s vibrant and growing community of players around the world - all while retaining the core values the studio was founded on 15 years ago.
“Jenova and his team have a track record of developing innovative games that not only entertain players, but allow them to build inclusive communities where they feel supported and valued,” said Arun Agarwal, Managing Director, TPG. “The ability to come together and create lasting bonds through games like Sky transcend other experiences in gaming, and we’re proud to have the opportunity to partner with a visionary leader like Jenova to support thatgamecompany’s next stage of growth.” TPG is investing in the company through its TPG Tech Adjacencies fund, an investment vehicle focused on flexible capital solutions for the technology industry.
“Our mission is to elevate games as a legitimate form of art,” said Jenova Chen, co-founder and CEO of thatgamecompany. “We want to see a game that emotionally appeals to people of all ages, identities and backgrounds within a single experience. Animated feature films have had genre-defining moments with Snow White and Toy Story, and we will continue working toward this moment in the gaming world. With the advisory support from legendary Ed Catmull, and the financial backing from TPG and Sequoia, we are going to double down on thatgamecompany’s pursuit and continue to push the boundaries between art, human connection, and video games.”
With compassion, friendship and altruism central to Sky, the game’s innovative experience has garnered awards and critical acclaim. The game has been honored with multiple accolades including Apple’s ‘iPhone Game of the Year’ and ‘Apple Design Award’, Google Play’s ‘Best of 2020’ Award, SXSW’s ‘Mobile Game of the Year’, Game Developers Choice Awards’ ‘Audience Award’, Webby Awards' ‘Best Visual Design’, among others.
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