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New journey: Kellee Santiago leaves thatgamecompany

Thursday, 29th March 2012 08:49 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Thatgamecompany co-founder and co-president Kellee Santiago has confirmed to Gamasutra she has left the studio, as development on its new game kicks off.

The studio, which has now exited a three-game contract with Sony following the release of Journey this month, was co-founded in 2006 by Santiago and Jenova Chen while the pair were both at the University of Southern California. The developer, alongside Journey, released Flow in 2007 and Flower in 2009.

Gama sources claim other departures may not be far off, but for her own leaving, Santiago said it was amicable.

“After doing these three games, I think it was a really great opportunity for all of us to look at what we’ve learned and what I’ve taken from that experience, and go forth and take it into new arenas,” she said.

“On top of that, founding a company whose explicit goal was to do new types of game development really allowed me to be able to try out new processes for game development, to try out new ideas.

“So much of my work at Thatgamecompany was really supporting Jenova’s visions for the types of games he wanted to make, and I felt like I have done everything I needed to do there, and that he’s in a great place now to go on and continue with some of the other people at Thatgamecompany, to take that to a whole new height.”

Santiago hasn’t said where she’s off to next, but said whatever role that is, it’s one that she hopes will “help in accelerating the growth of video games as a medium.”

In a thatgamecompany statement, Chen said: “While we want to continue the path of Thatgamecompany, Kellee has found a new direction in her career. Though our path in the future may be different, as TGC begins our next project, we wish Kellee a good journey and that our paths may cross again.”

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9 Comments

  1. Johnny Cullen

    Shocker, quite frankly.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Goffee

    Pretty sure she’ll do well as long as she stays small, nimble and indie. Don’t get sucked up into the dev-grinder!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Razor

    Kellee leaving, more departures likely?

    Well this doesn’t look good :|

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    That is indeed shocking. She is the core of the team.

    Well, good luck to her.

    She said that she supported Chen, maybe she is looking for a designer job to make her own games?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. KAP

    Core of the team?! Really.

    Anyway good luck to her in what ever she does, but TGC will do just fine without her.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. YoungZer0

    @5: Didn’t you know? Erthazus worked at thatgamecompany, but they decided to fire him after he loudly complained that The Journey wouldn’t feature high resolution.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. gtvdave

    I am a sad panda. I did not expect this after success of Journey. Such a unique game with beautiful sense of flow.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. LOLshock94

    10/10 would bang

    #8 2 years ago
  9. TD_Monstrous69

    Talk about a week of two resignations out of nowhere. 1st Bowling quits everything COD related, and now Kellee Santiago announces she’s leaving thatgamecompany. Talk about blindsided. I look forward to wherever her Jorney, takes her next. Because being one of the poeple behind some of the more emotionally ressinent games this generation, she’d be a true gem at wherever she lands, and I turly wish her nothing but the best of luck.

    #9 2 years ago

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