Thatgamecompany’s ‘Sky’ coming first to Apple devices this winter

Journey developer Thatgamecompany announced its next project, a “romantic, social adventure game” called Sky, coming first to Apple TV, iPad and iPhone in winter 2017. Studio founder and lead designer Jenova Chen took to the stage during Apple’s September press event to reveal it. A representative of thatgamecompany reached out to Digital Trends to clarify that Sky is a timed exclusive on Apple platforms, and will be coming to others at a later date, though they provided no particulars.

According to Chen, the players are “Children of Light” with the goal of spreading light to where it is needed most. These little, cape-clad cherubim live on floating islands among a sea of fluffy, white clouds and blue sky, flying around by gliding and flapping their capes as wings. The world also features enormous birds that the player can draft off of while soaring through the clouds.

Like most of Chen’s previous work, Sky looks to be mechanically simple and “adaptable to the most casual players” (controlling with just a single finger), instead focusing on aesthetic experience and, like his award-winning Journey, shared play. Up to eight players from around the world can play simultaneously. During the demonstration, Chen mentioned meeting up with a friend, so it seems the social element might be a bit more structured than the silent, ephemeral encounters of Journey.

“Compassion and generosity are key,” Chen said. Thatgamecompany previously teased the game by mentioning that theme. One way this manifested in the demonstration is players being able to share in-game skills and knowledge with one another, in this case how to summon a magical creature. The players then go on to bring light to a dark temple, freeing a chest of glowing butterflies before moving on.

Although the particulars of puzzle solving and the gameplay’s structure remains unclear, Sky is very much in Chen and Thatgamecompany’s wheelhouse. Chen explored the sensation of flight in previous titles award-winning titles like Cloud and Flower, and Journey garnered extraordinary accolades for both its gorgeous presentation (it was the first game score to ever be nominated for a Grammy) and its simple, but compelling cooperative play. Sky is a logical progression from Chen’s body of work to date and we are eager to check it out when it arrives first on Apple TV, iPad and iPhone this winter.

updated on 9-12-2017 by Will Fulton: thatgamecompany clarified timed exclusivity