Reflecting on the essence of the latest release from the game development company she co-founded, Kellee Santiago has said to Gamasutra that she is departing from her companions at thatgamecompany and looking for new opportunities and challenges.
It was six years ago that Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago, after working together at university, decided to set up thatgamecompany with the mission of exploring new types of expression in video games. Fittingly, this journey comes to an end with the third and final contractual release for the Playstation 3, Journey, as Santiago reveals her departure. The previous two titles of course being flOw and Flower, both critically acclaimed but the third game, Journey, is best considered the studio’s most true title.
“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,” Santiago said.
She mentions that while she wouldn’t want to speak on the behalf of her colleagues, it seems that more departures from the studio would be “likely”. Her leaving is not met through disagreements or arguments, simply a wish to meet new challenges and discoveries, though Santiago said she would happily work with any of those at thatgamecompany again.
“While we want to continue the path of Thatgamecompany, Kellee has found a new direction in her career. Though our path in the future may be different, as TGC begins our next project, we wish Kellee a good journey and that our paths may cross again,” said the studio’s other co-founder, Jenova Chen.
Santiago hasn’t said whether she has any specific routes from here on but hopes to continue on some of that original essence founded in thatgamecompany, taking it to more teams and projects in order to help boost the growth of video games as a medium. In the meantime, thatgamecompany will carry on working on their next title, their first since having fulfilled and broken free of the contract with Sony.