While the franchises that defined the industry arrived, for the most part a decade or more now, plenty of the teams that once were slowly loses its DNA as the developers that were seasoned from the experiences making said releases move on to new ventures. For one, Rockstar Games cofounder Dan House who left the firm last year. In a recent discovery recently, Houser is discovered to be forming ‘Absurd Ventures in Games’ with him at the helm.
Additionally, another industry veteran went on to form his own video game studio elsewhere also. In late 2020, Mass Effect developer Casey Hudson – who initially was leading development for the coming Mass Effect revival – announced to be departing from BioWare. Hudson only recently announced to be opening a new team, Humanoids.
Now a new conglomerate of veteran experience is opening this week, announcing the forming of That’s No Moon. Unlike other independent teams that announce its founding, the new team comprised of former Sony Interactive Entertainment Visual Arts Group leads/Bungie/Naughty Dog developers already found funding through Smilegate.
We believe in the importance of singleplayer narrative games and that story and gameplay are not two distinct ideas, but rather extensions of one another. We are fortunate to have found a partner that shares our values in Smilegate—creators of the record-shattering CROSSFIRE franchise—who have invested more than $100 million in our debut project and studio. Our shared vision is to craft captivating stories and relatable, emotionally resonant characters that are not only entertaining, but thought-provoking. We want to make experiences that will stick with you for long after you put down the controller.
We also believe that the stories we tell should not be limited by any given medium. We want to create characters and worlds that begin in our games, but will eventually extend into linear media—whether that’s TV, film, or beyond. To achieve this, we’re building a state-of-the-art studio in Los Angeles with a dedicated, in-house virtual production stage that will be home to our team when it’s safe to do so. Alongside our studio in Los Angeles, we have team members based in San Diego and remote staff around the country.
“Tina [Kowalewski, That’s No Moon chief operating officer] and I had been speaking and she knew I was interested in building a new triple-A studio, and Harold [Kim, vice president of business development at Smilegate] was looking for teams,” Michael Mumbauer, That’s No Moon CEO, told GamesBeat,
“It was an opportunity to reach out of the network of people I had worked with over the last several decades on our passion genre, which is single player, narrative-driven, action-adventure. We had this opportunity to bring such exceptional talent. Smilegate was willing to invest in a team with such big ambitions.”
Similarly in structure to Xbox Game Studio’s The Initiative in terms of well-experienced employees, That’s No Moon still remains to be a smaller team as its defined as an independent developer. However, the budget offered by the South Korean firm does answer for its desire to produce AAA projects alike many of its developers did previously.
Namely, Mumbauer was the former lead of another smaller team over at Sony Interactive Entertainment. In that, he was responsible for the internal Visual Arts Group that kicked up The Last of Us remake title which was reported previously. Knowing the PlayStation company’s activity towards smaller teams, Mumbauer among others left when their work was handed over to Naughty Dog later on. You can read the full report by heading here.
Are you interested to see what That’s No Moon will produce?