© thatgamecompany

The Switch eShop had a notable recent arrival, with thatgamecompany making its Nintendo debut with Sky: Children of the Light. It’s a studio that achieved notable acclaim in a period of PlayStation exclusivity, with titles such as Flower and Journey setting high standards in artistry and emotional impact. After Journey, however, there was a change in focus as work began on Sky: Children of the Light. No longer focused on PlayStation, after a number of years it arrived as a free-to-play title on iOS and Android; on the surface that may seem rather surprising.

The game has earned a sizeable audience over the past 2+ years, and its move to Switch is an intriguing one. Though the idea of ‘free-to-play’ or ‘free-to-start’ immediately comes across negatively to some, this title does do things rather differently, unsurprisingly considering the team that’s created the experience. We’ve enjoyed our time with it so far, giving it a recommendation in our Sky: Children of the Light review.

We were fortunate to talk recently with thatgamecompany’s President & Creative Director – Jenova Chen – to learn about the game, the team’s goals and motivations, and what makes it a valuable gaming experience as it arrives on Switch. We also cleared up how the free-to-play model and its seasons work, with the answers making it clear that this is a game that the developers want everyone to experience properly, regardless of how much they decide to invest.

We start off with an introduction to the game from Mr Chen.

Sky is a social adventure game where players come together to usher the light back into the world. It’s a game that inspires compassion, wonder and friendship for the players, and it’s a virtual theme park. During this trailer I show two year’s worth of content that came across eight different seasons, and there are many different stories and types of experience. For example there is a season about using magic to turn a desert into an oasis. There is also a season where we take players to a tropical island for a summer vacation, the Ethereal Dungeon that challenged players, and more.

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