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."