A recent report published by VentureBeat has brought to light an oppressive and unhealthy work culture at Moon Studios, the best known developer for Ori and the Blind Forest and its sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps. The indie team’s next game is set to be an action RPG in a new IP, and published by Private Division, not Microsoft.
While previously, Thomas Mahler – co-founder of Moon Studios and director of the Ori games – said the reason behind the IP’s release, and it seems that you may have had other reasons at play as well.
Shortly after the aforementioned VentureBeat report was published, Windows Central journalist Jez Corden took to Twitter to corroborate it, and also added that Moon Studios’ co-founders – Gennadiy Korol and the aforementioned Thomas Mahler – “resorted to personal attacks and bullying towards Xbox’s team” and “burned all bridges” with them.
Meanwhile, journalist Jeff Grubb also commented on a recent episode of the GamesBeat Decides podcast (transcribed over on ResetEra) that Microsoft was very aware of the internal issues at Moon Studios, and once developed on Ori and the Will of the Wisps had wrapped up, decided not to work with the developer again.
“Microsoft is better aware of what this company is like, and when they got done with it Ori 2 there is a reason why Private Division is publishing their next game and not Microsoft, ”Grubb said. “I was told this explicitly this morning, that Microsoft knew and understood that that is what this company is like. And so, it’s clearly not the kind of thing where it’s like ‘Oh, this is just a couple of jokes happening on Discord.’ This studio has a reputation for hurting them financially, because they have to do with MS and that affects everyone at that company. ”
Stay tuned to GamingBolt for more updates on this story.
I can corroborate much of @deantak‘s reporting on Moon Studios. I was told Moon founders attacked Xbox’s teams, burned all bridges.
– jez (@JezCorden) March 18, 2022