Ori developer putting all of its chips on the table
Independent developer Moon Studios is seemingly gambling a lot on its next release, suggesting that the performance of the unannounced new title could “make or break” the studio.
Moon Studios CEO Thomas Mahler made the stark comments on Twitter when discussing the ARPG title, which was first announced three years ago and has been in steady development since. The mystery project will not only see the studio take a break from its much beloved Ori series, but will also see Moon move away from Xbox exclusivity and into the wider world of platforms, courtesy of publisher Private Division.
“Our next project is going to be a make-or-break moment for Moon,” wrote Mahler on Twitter. “Either we manage to revolutionize the ARPG genre or we’ll slowly fade away into the distance. While that should be scary, I LOVE the challenge! Diablo, PoE, etc.: We’re coming for you, may the best one win!”
Our next project is going to be a make-or-break moment for Moon:
Either we manage to revolutionize the ARPG genre or we'll slowly fade away into the distance.
While that should be scary, I LOVE the challenge! Diablo, PoE, etc.: We're coming for you, may the best one win! 😀
— thomasmahler (@thomasmahler) February 22, 2023
The Austrian developer was founded in 2010 by Mahler and Gennadiy Korol. Mahler previously worked at Blizzard Entertainment, but was inspired to start on his own after witnessing the success of esoteric indie releases such as PlayDead’s Limbo, Number None’s Braid, and The Behemoth’s mega-hit, Castle Crashers. Moon has released two titles to date, charming fantasy adventures Ori and the Blind Forest and its sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Both titles were bestowed with praise from critics and fans for their gorgeous visuals, vibrant worlds, and dramatic storytelling.
Unfortunately, it has not all been positive press. A year ago, Moon developers speaking with GamesBeat accused the studio of curating a toxic work environment, stating that crunch culture was readily apparent in the studio’s walls, alongside allegations of inappropriate jokes, unprofessional behavior, and the withholding of praise and support, with all allegations aimed specifically at the studio’s founders. In response, Mahler and Korol penned a statement stating that they felt “regret” for making any employees “uncomfortable.”