that game company

Company Description

Company:   That Game Company
Location:   Santa Monica
Year Founded:   2006
Status: Developed or worked on more than a dozen games
Inventor:    Jenova Chen & Kellee Santiago

Thatgamecompany, LLC (stylized as thatgamecompany) is an American independent video game development company co-founded by University of Southern California students Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago in 2006. The company was a developer for Sony Computer Entertainment, contracted to create three downloadable games for the PlayStation 3‘s PlayStation Network service, and has since secured independent funding. The first of their games is a remake of Chen’s award-winning Flash title Flow, with enhanced visuals and sound, added multiplayer modes and compatibility with the PlayStation 3’s motion sensitive controller. The title was released on the PlayStation Store in 2007. The company’s second PlayStation 3 game, Flower, was released on the PlayStation Store in 2009, and their third game, Journey, was released in March 2012 on the PlayStation Store. Their untitled fourth game is currently planned for 2017.

The company focuses on creating video games that provoke emotional responses from players. Its employees have stated that, while they are not opposed to making action-oriented games, they believe that enough such titles are released by the established video game industry. When designing a game, Thatgamecompany employees start by mapping out what they want the player to feel, rather than by establishing game mechanics. Employees have stated that the company does not plan to produce large, blockbuster titles, due to their belief that the pressure for high sales would stifle innovation.

Wham-o Toys


Project Description

Company:   Wham-O
Grad Year:  Late 1940’s
Year Founded:   1948
Status: Sold for $80M (2006)
Co-Founder:    Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin

Childhood friends and USC alumni Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin left indelible marks on numerous childhood memories with their business venture, Wham-O!, which produced iconic toys like the Hula Hoop and Frisbee. The Knerr and Melin’s first product was a slingshot, deriving their company name from the sound projectiles made when hitting their targets, but the duo hit it big with the Hula Hoop in 1958 and released the Frisbee that same year. Shortly thereafter, they introduced the Slip ‘N Slide and the Superball before releasing their final popular fad toy—the Hacky Sack—in 1980.


William Wang – Vizio

Project Description

Co-Founder:   William Wang
Grad Year:   1986
Company:   Vizio
Year Founded:   2002
Valuation: $3.5B (2016)

Electrical engineering alumnus William Wang (class of 1986) established himself as a pioneer in screen technology, creating Vizio in 2002 to provide affordable, high-definition televisions for the switch from analog to digital. Vizio wisely launched its products with wholesale giant Costco and built itself into one of the top HDTV brands in the country, having grown to a $3.1 billion valuation. Wang has been in charge every step of the way, serving as the CEO to this day.

Brandon Beck – Riot Games

Company Description

Founder:   Brandon Beck
Grad Year:   2005
Company:   Riot Games
Year Founded:   2006
Valuation: $400M

Riot Games is an American video game publisher that was established in 2006. Their main office is based in West Los Angeles, California. They currently have additional offices located in St. Louis, Dublin, Berlin, Seoul, São Paulo, Istanbul, Moscow, Sydney, and Taipei.  Riot Games has produced a single game, League of Legends, which was released in both North America and Europe on October 27, 2009.