Journey developer thatgamecompany has announced that it has raised $5.5 million in funding – allowing it to cut its ties with Sony, and go fully independent for the first time since its formation.

Earlier in the year, we revealed that the creative studio was looking to move beyond PlayStation. Speaking specifically about the deal, studio head Jenova Chen revealed that the autonomy will allow the developer to release its future titles on multiple platforms.

The funding – provided by Benchmark Capital – will see general partner Mitch Lasky added to thatgamecompany’s board of directors. In a statement, Lasky compared the studio’s vision to Pixar, and said that the firm wanted to support that creative vision.

He added:

The intent of the investment is to provide the resources for thatgamecompany to remain independent, so they can innovate with complete autonomy from the pressures of platforms and publishers.

thatgamecompany formed in 2006 and immediately signed a three-game exclusivity deal with Sony. The release of Journey earlier this year saw the collaboration come to a conclusion. Since then, a number of the studio’s high-profile employees have departed.

It’s going to be interesting to see where thatgamecompany goes from here. The technical support from Sony Santa Monica was instrumental in ensuring the studio’s output reached its full artistic potential. Now it finds itself without the assistance of one of the industry’s most prolific developers, and facing the challenges of multiplatform development alone.

Still, thatgamecompany has been one of the most consistently exciting studios this generation, and as such, we're eager to get a glimpse of what it's working on next.