Award-winning independent outfit ThatGameCompany spent "millions" building Journey for PS3 and the game's sales have not likely returned a profit, a developer at the studio has claimed.
The BAFTA-winning title became the fastest-selling PSN game yet following its March 2012 release, but the huge cash owed to Sony meant ThatGameCompany was close to bankruptcy as sales began.
Company co-founder Janova Chen explained the process in an interview with Joystiq.
"When the game makes money, the money first goes back to pay back the money they've invested. So, that's going to take a while - Journey cost multiple millions of dollars to make. Once that money is recouped, then we will get royalties," he said.
"But for almost a year, we are not going to be relying on the money from Journey to keep the company going."
Following the release of Journey (a title which completed a three-game deal with Sony), ThatGameCompany secured a $5.6 million deal from venture capital firm Benchmark Company.
"We were at a spot where, if we couldn't figure out the next game, or find the next deal, then at the end of Journey we'd run out of money," Chen said.
"When we switched to a venture capital, we raised the money because we pitched the project; we sold them on the vision. They believe it, they want to support us to make that happen. So, creatively I've never gotten any input from the venture capital. It's actually very similar, we are always ourselves, and no one is really messing around with us. With Sony, it was the same thing," he said.