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Journey wins Game of the Year at DICE

by William Schwartz

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Journey won a lot of awards at DICE this evening, including the most prestigious, getting the Game of the Year nod from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. The PlayStation exclusive downloadable title did well during awards season, but thatgamecompany didn’t have an easy road in getting Journey to the mountain top, according to a recent speech that company founder Jenova Chen gave earlier today.

Chen says that the idea of Journey came to him in part from his love of World of Warcraft, and the lack of a fulfilling social element for him personally. Chen explained that Journey was meant to be a game that approaches the online element in a different way than all other games before it. The developers deliberately wanted to make interactions between players to have more meaning than they do in the popular online titles of this era. To do that, thatgamecompany scrapped the heads up display, canned voice chat, and left travelers wandering the game only knowing that a another human being was on the other end of the ethernets.

It wasn’t an easy go for Chen and thatgamecompany. Numerous delays left his company riddled with debt, and the only reason that Journey saw the light of day was due to extensive funding from Sony to complete the project. It looks like it was worth it, if just for the praise that this masterpiece has gotten since release. Hopefully it’s doing just as well commercially as it has critically.

Journey is currently available on the PlayStation Store for $14.99, and will likely go down as one of the best this generation.

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