Journey developer’s next game is “something different” because “people don’t respect games”

ThatGameCompany launched Journey to critical acclaim in 2012. A decade later, the studio still has something to prove. Despite the fact that Journey has been featured in actual museums, creator Jenova Chen still feels a lack of respect for the art of video games.

That’s the driving force behind ThatGameCompany’s next project, Chen tells IGN. Citing how video games are often scapegoated for certain tragic events, he asks, “How come people still don’t respect games? If proving games can be art can’t elevate the respect, or how the public view games, what else can I do to change that?” Thus, the studio is “working on something different” for its next game.

While we don’t know what that game will be, we do know what kinds of practices Chen wants to avoid. He points to the mobile market, free-to-play overabundance, and gross monetization as reasons behind gaming’s current reputation. “The reputation of games today is shaped by these mobile games more than what’s on the console,” he claims, “and that’s why people are treating me as if I’m running casinos.” ThatGameCompany’s previous title, Sky, is a mobile game itself, although it doesn’t include microtransactions or anything of the sort.

Chen’s claims are not without evidence. EA was taken to court in the Netherlands over its use of loot boxes in the FIFA series, although it was recently cleared of the $11 million fine.