iPhone and Apple TV Game 'Sky' Will Feature 'Innovative' Payment Model

In a new episode of IGN's "Unfiltered" interview series, thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen discussed a variety of topics, including the developer's upcoming iOS- and tvOS-only game "Sky," the "malicious" intent of some mobile games, and how Sky's payment model is its "biggest innovation."

Specifically, Chen talked about how the iOS App Store and other mobile gaming platforms have affected the gaming industry as a whole, and his hopes that Sky can potentially become counter programming to those titles. Instead of using a payment model that is "downright malicious," Chen teased that Sky's structure will include a method where players "pay money for other people" and not for themselves.


Since we still have a few weeks to go before the game's March release date, Chen didn't divulge any more details.
"I think many people will be surprised by how this game makes money. I think my biggest breakthrough or innovation on this game is about how it actually charges people... this is something you probably have never seen before, once you play the game you will be interested. It’s a game where you pay money for other people and not yourself."
Chen called this app payment structure his "biggest breakthrough" in the development of Sky's iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV apps. He also reiterated on topics previously known about the game, like how it will be "ongoing" and constantly evolving, and include a multiplayer aspect that makes it easier for players to directly connect to their friends and family, unlike Journey's random encounter system.

Chen also briefly touched upon the moment when Sky was unveiled during Apple's iPhone X event last September. He said that the presentation at the Apple event reached a wider audience of non-gamers, but some of the people he knows who play games are less aware of Sky, because they "just fast forwarded the whole Apple TV part to just watch the end and look at the iPhone X."

Ultimately, Chen said that he hopes players connect with Sky in a way that "could still generate good revenue" despite its lack of notorious mobile gaming trends like loot boxes. "So then you can create a path for other publishers or investors to, you know, consider doing it the honest way."

The full 90-minute interview with Jenova Chen can be viewed on IGN's website and on the company's YouTube channel.



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15 months ago
the term "innovative payment model" when it comes to apps lets all my alarm bells ring.
Rating: 12 Votes
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15 months ago
A couple of years back, Rocket League was a ‘free’ game on Playstation Plus. Never heard of it, never would have bought it otherwise, just wouldn’t have thought it’s my type of game.

Turns out I ended up plowing hundreds of hours into it, this free little game. Playing it solo, playing it split screen with a couple of mates, it made for many a good evening.

There was constant updates with free content, performance updates like PS4 Pro support, I think they even implemented cross-platform play at one point.

All this and I hadn’t paid a penny for it. I kinda felt bad.

So I decided to support the devs and bought some DLC. To this day that has been the sole piece of DLC that I’ve actually felt good about buying.

So good on these people for trying to shake up the system, which to be honest is a bit of a war zone right now (I’m looking at you, EA...)

End of the day these people gotta feed their families. If you enjoy the game, give something back, especially if it was free in the first place.
Rating: 8 Votes
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15 months ago

Means conservatives pay so liberals can play.....

For people who really hate it when politics gets dragged into everything, conservatives sure love to drag politics into everything.
Rating: 8 Votes
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15 months ago
So the game’s “biggest innovation” is it’s payment system? Not exactly a great feature...
Rating: 8 Votes
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15 months ago
I think EA said something similar with Star Wars Battlefront II
Rating: 8 Votes
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15 months ago
Oh fun. So a new way to nickel and dime customers you say? Can't wait!
Rating: 4 Votes
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15 months ago
capitalizing on altruism huh?
Rating: 3 Votes
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15 months ago
gaming revenue streams are totally broken now. I welcome any attempt to move into a better system. Maybe they're successful and maybe they aren't but we need people to try new things here.
Rating: 2 Votes
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15 months ago
I wonder if it will be like this: you are gated out of certain areas until you request and receive an unlock that another player donates to you. Along the lines of Shovelstrike Quarry from Animal Crossing for mobile.
Rating: 1 Votes
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15 months ago

the term "innovative payment model" when it comes to apps lets all my alarm bells ring.


I'm sure that games like Candy Crush were considered to use "innovative payment models" at the time they were first introduced.

That turn of phrase should set off alarms for any potential customer.
Rating: 1 Votes
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