Thatgamecompany’s Journey was a breakout indie hit on the PlayStation 3 back in 2012, charming players with its meditative approach to a shared, multiplayer experience. It won a stack of awards, its score earned a Grammy nomination(!), and after moving from PS3 to PS4 in 2015, the game finally came to PC earlier in 2019.
Thatgamecompany’s new game, Sky: Children of the Light, has for the moment skipped PC and console platforms entirely, having released on July 18 exclusively for iOS. But despite the super-competitive nature of the mobile gaming market, this spiritual successor to Journey, featuring as it does delightful chimes of communication and characters that don’t look a million miles away from the caped adventurers of 2012’s title (not to mention That Mountain), has been downloaded a million times in its first five days on the App Store, making around $175,000 from in-app purchases (reports VGC).
Thatgamecompany calls Sky a “social adventure in an ever-changing kingdom of compassion, community and wonder” – which sounds like bliss when a large chunk of your working day is spent battering homophobic idiots in the comments section, frankly. The studio’s co-founder Jenova Chen explains further:
“Sky is a game where we’re inspired to create these heartfelt, emotional experiences, shared between you and your friends. It is made for gamers, but it should also be playable for people who never play games.”
Does anyone really never play a game in 2019? Games are everywhere, on everything, but I get what Jenova means, here. Ahead of Sky‘s release, Chen spoke to Polygon, where he compared the new game to a Pixar production:
“I’m trying to make something like a Pixar movie. Something for the family to play together. Mobile phones have two billion players, but there are only 200 million consoles. That means nine in ten people haven’t used a console.”
Sky: Children of the Light / Credit: Thatgamecompany
I mean, it doesn’t mean that, quite, but again: I get what the man’s saying here. Anyway, by all accounts Sky: Children of the Light is lovely, a real breath of fresh air in 2019, currently sitting at 83 on Metacritic; but I’m yet to play it, owning as I do an Android phone, not an Apple device.
But there’s hope for the like of me, yet, as Sky is destined to come to consoles, Android and PC, eventually. Thatgamecompany is expected to announce those plans soon, so if it appeals to your gaming tastes, keep an eye out for that information.