Kellee Santiago Exiting thatgamecompany

  • 65 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by Alex (2164 posts) -
We really do just have the strangest photos of developers floating around our wiki pages.

Kellee Santiago had been with thatgamecompany since its inception. She co-founded the company alongside the studio's creative director Jenova Chen, and has been around for each one of the heralded indie developer's projects. Now, it appears thatgamecompany will have to learn to get along without her.

Speaking to Gamasutra, Santiago announced today that she is leaving thatgamecompany for an as-yet unannounced destination. She described the split as "entirely amicable," and made it clear that it was simply time for her to move on to another place.

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.

While Chen has been the creative mind behind thatcompany's many experiments in game design, Santiago's role as president had much to do with the behind-the-scenes work of making his visions a reality.

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.

This marks something of a bittersweet day for thatgamecompany. Prior to Santiago's announcement, Chen had blogged that the studio's most recent project, the critically acclaimed Journey, has become the fastest selling game in the history of the PlayStation Network. The Gamasutra article also mentions that a new project has begun at thatgamecompany, though now it'll have to progress without Santiago's assistance.

Chen and those remaining at thatgamecompany expressed mutual admiration and appreciation for Santiago's work in a statement from the company.

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.
Staff Online
#1 Posted by Alex (2164 posts) -
We really do just have the strangest photos of developers floating around our wiki pages.

Kellee Santiago had been with thatgamecompany since its inception. She co-founded the company alongside the studio's creative director Jenova Chen, and has been around for each one of the heralded indie developer's projects. Now, it appears thatgamecompany will have to learn to get along without her.

Speaking to Gamasutra, Santiago announced today that she is leaving thatgamecompany for an as-yet unannounced destination. She described the split as "entirely amicable," and made it clear that it was simply time for her to move on to another place.

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.

While Chen has been the creative mind behind thatcompany's many experiments in game design, Santiago's role as president had much to do with the behind-the-scenes work of making his visions a reality.

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.

This marks something of a bittersweet day for thatgamecompany. Prior to Santiago's announcement, Chen had blogged that the studio's most recent project, the critically acclaimed Journey, has become the fastest selling game in the history of the PlayStation Network. The Gamasutra article also mentions that a new project has begun at thatgamecompany, though now it'll have to progress without Santiago's assistance.

Chen and those remaining at thatgamecompany expressed mutual admiration and appreciation for Santiago's work in a statement from the company.

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.
Staff Online
#2 Posted by StrikeALight (1114 posts) -

Seems a nice lady.

#3 Posted by iAmJohn (6120 posts) -

I always forget Mega 64 has that puppet character.

#4 Posted by jukeboxzer0 (72 posts) -

oh man i remember marcus

#5 Posted by Enigma777 (6073 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

I always forget Mega 64 has that puppet character.

Hah, I was wondering why it looked so familiar.

#6 Posted by IronScimitar (495 posts) -

I met her a couple of weeks ago. She's awesome.

#7 Posted by xxizzypop (577 posts) -

That play on words. Uuuuuuugh.

I mean that in the best possible way.

#8 Posted by dropabombonit (1490 posts) -

I hope she moves onto bigger and better things, just think we could now have 2 companies making games as innovative as Journey

#9 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -
Well, best of luck to Kellee on her future journey.
#10 Posted by DeF (4887 posts) -

@xxizzypop said:

That play on words. Uuuuuuugh.

I mean that in the best possible way.

it's fun when you hear news and then you immediately know how the headlines are gonna look and then you wait how the different outlets approach the obvious. ;)

So far, I've only seen it on joystiq as "Kellee Santiago leaves thatgamecompany, nextcompany unknown" but I like Alex' version better.

#11 Posted by grayfox1210 (199 posts) -

ZING!

#12 Posted by RE_Player1 (7560 posts) -

That picture is from Marcus' Corner a funny interview series Mega64 has. Oh yeah good luck to all her future endeavors.

#13 Posted by Pop (2633 posts) -
Former studio president presumably heading to someothercompany.

#14 Posted by quimstyle (51 posts) -

Hope she does as well as she has at thatgamecompany. And I hope they dont lose direction without her.

#15 Posted by probablytuna (3660 posts) -

Still need to play Journey.

#16 Posted by RagingLion (1365 posts) -

Huh. That's kind of interesting. Wonder if she'll be transported in to head up a bigger studio somewhere ala Kim Swift, though they perform quite different roles I believe.

#17 Posted by EuanDewar (4921 posts) -

REPRESENT

Online
#18 Posted by bennym6 (417 posts) -

:(

#19 Posted by Jolt92 (1551 posts) -

Marcus is the best.

#20 Posted by Javes (78 posts) -

I have an uncanny talent for spotting an Alex headline.

#21 Posted by Deusx (1905 posts) -

Well that sucks for TGC, she's done a lot of great work there.

#22 Posted by The_Reflection (249 posts) -

HEYYYYYYYYYYYY SONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!

#23 Posted by 49th (2756 posts) -

'someothercompany' Wow, nice one.

#24 Posted by Tackchevy (264 posts) -

Former studio president presumably heading to someothercompany.

How long has that one been in storage? Was this an original thought after the news broke, or does GB keep a spreadsheet of zingers waiting around for something to happen? I know I do.

#25 Posted by UnsolvedParadox (1863 posts) -

All the best to Kellee, I'm excited to see what she does next.

I can always tell when it's News by Navarro. Kudos!

#26 Posted by jakkblades (403 posts) -

I've never played a thatgamecompany game, and I may be about to say something that makes me more enemies than friends, but here goes. In the interviews I have seen with her online, I have heard her say again and again that her interest is to be on the vanguard of art "avant-garde" if you will, not to design the games of her dreams, that she herself has never had much interest in games outside of what they could mean in further artistic achievement. I found her to be, in this respect, rather self-interested and self-important, with the goal of boosting her artistic acclaim, not of creating entertainment or art that she would enjoy or would be enjoyed by others. I'm not saying "down with art games" but I think they should be made by gamers, not pretentious NYU art grads.

#27 Posted by TinyGallon (193 posts) -

I wonder if this article will get as many "I DONT GIVE A SHIT" comments as the Robert Bowling one did

#28 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

I love having Alex on the east coast. There was rarely anything to read on this site before that, not in the way of up to date news anyway.

#29 Edited by fisk0 (4107 posts) -
@jakkblades said:

I've never played a thatgamecompany game, and I may be about to say something that makes me more enemies than friends, but here goes. In the interviews I have seen with her online, I have heard her say again and again that her interest is to be on the vanguard of art "avant-garde" if you will, not to design the games of her dreams, that she herself has never had much interest in games outside of what they could mean in further artistic achievement. I found her to be, in this respect, rather self-interested and self-important, with the goal of boosting her artistic acclaim, not of creating entertainment or art that she would enjoy or would be enjoyed by others. I'm not saying "down with art games" but I think they should be made by gamers, not pretentious NYU art grads.

I think you create a false dichotomy there, art students can vey well be gamers, but "gamer" is an extremely wide term - a gamer isn't necessarily competent as an artist or designer. So, I'd rather have games created by people who understand some basic art theory (though it obviously varies how much of it can be applied across different art forms - a fantastic painter isn't necessarily a good film director or even photographer), than someone who just plays games, but obviously an artistic individual who also does play games is a better fit than one that doesn't.
#30 Posted by jaks (244 posts) -

Thanks for being the only gaming site on the web that didn't use a "she's going on her own "journey" now" remark.

#31 Posted by LeeMan (10 posts) -

I know whenever it's an Alex story as he has such a sarcastic writing style, I love it.

#32 Posted by TurboMan (7540 posts) -

Once again, Alex Navarro is the best headlines writer in the business.

#33 Posted by jakkblades (403 posts) -

@fisk0: They certainly can be, and she said that she was not.

#34 Posted by Sonny009 (85 posts) -

Thats too bad. I just got journey the other day and i cannot stop playing it. It is a beautiful, and genius game. where is she goiinnggg?????

#35 Edited by revel (91 posts) -

Crap. Well i'm sure she will go on to do awesome stuff. These indie companies can be like bands you love. You just follow some of your favorite musicians and top contributors. TGC is just a name. The contributors names are probably held to a higher regard than the outfits name, here.

I understand where Kellee is coming from. On the surface you will see that there are "Indie Studios" and "Non Indie Studios". Or so is the perception from many in (or just into) the "indie scene". But people who are working day-in-day-out on their game (indie or not) know that really in life there are just people in control and people not in control - and this can mean a lot more to some people than simply indie and not-indie. So if she is working for Chens vision then there are probably times where she feels not as independent (this is obviously ignoring the feeling of being "indie" by making games about love/sharing instead of war/fear.)... And if you feel that way then you can feel like you may as well be working at like Maxis on the next Sims or whatever. People just want to have their vision realized. Everybody does.

This isn't the first time or the last time we will see hardcore independent people splitting from each other. Such is life. TGC was awesome. Looking forward to whats in the future.

#36 Posted by jakkblades (403 posts) -

@fisk0: Also, "theory" is about as useful in creating art as understanding the molecular composition of ground beef will teach you to make a tasty hamburger. There are plenty of "literary theorists" in the world, to use a comparative example, and they are currently all sitting behind desks at academic institutions, or unemployed, not creating literature.

#37 Posted by Jackel2072 (2261 posts) -

Well i wish her the best, still have not played Journey yet. its pretty much the one game that makes me wish my PS3 still worked. 

#38 Posted by TheHT (11250 posts) -

everybody's leaving everywhere. D:

Online
#39 Posted by Xeirus (1305 posts) -

@Jackel2072 said:

Well i wish her the best, still have not played Journey yet. its pretty much the one game that makes me wish my PS3 still worked.

I was so damn glad my roommate owned a PS3, that was is sooooo cool.

Online
#40 Posted by Mystyr_E (1190 posts) -

@TinyGallon said:

I wonder if this article will get as many "I DONT GIVE A SHIT" comments as the Robert Bowling one did

unlock Call of Duty games, Journey was actually good so think people care

Online
#41 Posted by paulwade1984 (478 posts) -

Saw this coming. Chen has an ego the size of an elephants backside. My guess is that the sony deal meant she couldnt leave. Now she can tell him to do one and go do some creating herself.

#42 Posted by geekbot (110 posts) -

I wish her the very best in all her new endeavors. :)

#43 Posted by HadesTimes (804 posts) -

She's a really nice person, I'm sure she will do well where ever she is going.

#44 Posted by bigevil1987 (114 posts) -

someothercompany...well done boys.

#45 Posted by Adaptor (186 posts) -

@EuanDewar: Haha, that was an awkward interview. Never heard of Marcus' Corner before. Really funny video's!

#46 Edited by Lucien21 (108 posts) -

Looks like she's not the only one leaving thatgamecompany as Robin Hunicke has also jumped ship to make Glitch.

Now that their 3 game deal with Sony is up, it's everyone for yourself.

#47 Posted by beard_of_zeus (1684 posts) -

I love the caption for the photo. So true, Alex, so true! 
 
@Lucien21 said:

Looks like she's not the only one leaving thatgamecompany as Robin Hunicke has also jumped ship to make Glitch.

Now that their 3 game deal with Sony is up, it's everyone for yourself.

Interesting. Wonder if Jenova will try and recruit some new folks, or if he'll be heading off to a different endeavor as well? Is this the end of thatgamecompany? *gasp!*
#48 Posted by bug9329 (48 posts) -

There could be a lot of reasons for this. It could be that with the Sony contract over, new investors wanted one of their own in that spot and that she either could take another position in the company or move on. Just a guess, but thatgamecompany has been successful enough to get some private capital, but were maybe locked up in some way by the Sony contract.

I'm sure someothercompany will be great. :)

#49 Posted by theManUnknown (172 posts) -

There are some decision which can't be made without everyone assuming something's wrong.

Maybe there are issues to be had behind the scenes at thatgamecompany, but I can understand it if Santiago simply feels like it's time to move on.

#50 Edited by theManUnknown (172 posts) -

@jakkblades said:

I've never played a thatgamecompany game, and I may be about to say something that makes me more enemies than friends, but here goes. In the interviews I have seen with her online, I have heard her say again and again that her interest is to be on the vanguard of art "avant-garde" if you will, not to design the games of her dreams, that she herself has never had much interest in games outside of what they could mean in further artistic achievement. I found her to be, in this respect, rather self-interested and self-important, with the goal of boosting her artistic acclaim, not of creating entertainment or art that she would enjoy or would be enjoyed by others. I'm not saying "down with art games" but I think they should be made by gamers, not pretentious NYU art grads.

People who read Ulysses for fun in their spare time can be said to love reading just as much as a fan of Twilight, Hunger Games, or Harry Potter. They just love the medium for different reasons. Should their perspective alone render them illegitimate?

People can appreciate a medium for a multitude of reasons. I don't think one's reasoning behind his/her appreciation should somehow invalidate their enthusiasm.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.