Games

Call of Duty and PlayStation Veterinarians Form New AAA Studio That’s No Moon

A team of veteran game developers who previously worked for various companies such as Infinity Ward and Naughty Dog announced on Wednesday the establishment of a new independent development studio, That’s No Moon.

The studio starts with something in the action-adventure genre and focuses on creating single-player games. This is not surprising given that the studio team includes franchise developers such as Uncharted and The Last of Us. That’s No Moon has also partnered with Smilegate, the studio behind the multiplayer Crossfire franchise, which provided $ 100 million for its launch and initial project.

It ’s Normoon CEO Michael Mumbauer.
Photo: It’s not the moon

According to That’s No Moon CEO Michael Mumbauer, a former senior director of visual arts at Sony, the studio is well aware that the current gaming trend is multiplayer, but there’s still plenty of room for a great single-player experience. He thinks there is.

“Most of the recent focus has been on large-scale multiplayer games as a service,” Mumbauer said in a video interview with Polygon. “And for us, that is not the direction in which our career and aspirations as a storyteller should go. […] We are a big supporter of the single-player story-driven experience genre. That is what we are passionate about. […] And frankly, there still seems to be a lot of healthy appetite for these experiences. Sales in this genre do not seem to be declining. So it was a great time for us. “

The idea for this single-player game was how That’s No Moon Chief Creative Officer Taylor Kurosaki (formerly Naughty Dog’s Narrative Design Leader and Infinity Ward’s Studio Narrative Director) pitched the studio to the developers he wanted to hire. It was also a part. ..

That's No Moon Chief Creative Officer Taylor Kurosaki

It ’s No Moon ’s chief creative officer, Taylor Kurosaki.
Photo: It’s not the moon

“The ground floor marketing we’ve been talking about is specifically focused on single-player story-driven action-adventure storytelling,” Kurosaki said in an interview with Polygon. “Starting an AAA studio can be a daunting task, but our desire is to be best-in-class as soon as you leave the gate.”

Part of the way That’s No Moon plans to achieve this is to hire familiar talent. “The great thing about this crew we have is that we’re about 40 years old and we’re aiming for just over 100 next year. So far, we’ve all worked together,” Kurosaki said. increase. ..

So far, the team includes Jacob Minkoff, the studio’s chief design officer and game director for the first project, who previously worked with Kurosaki on both Infinity Ward and Naughty Dog. The studio also includes Nick Kononelos (COO), a former Senior Development Director at EA, Tina Kowalewski, a former Product Development Director at Sony Santa Monica as Chief Strategy Officer, and many veteran developers as well.

That's No Moon Early Team at Development Studio

Photo: It’s not the moon

He explained that all this experience gives the studio a shared vocabulary and shorthand to help facilitate the early stages of development. But now that That’s No Moon is moving forward, it’s not just looking for known talent. Kurosaki explained that one of the studio’s goals is to hire new developers from the university as a way to add new voice and background to the team, but as a way to “make the industry better”. .. [we] I found it. “

Another part of this idea is to create a healthier and more responsible development approach, especially with a focus on the crunch idea. To avoid these problems, That’s No Moon uses a prioritization system that works well in other studios, both Kurosaki and Mumbauer said.

It's the logo of No Moon Development Studio

Image: It’s not the moon

The team subdivides the game into missions, levels, and sections, prioritizes each element of those sections from high priority to low priority, and works in that order. increase. This way, when things get stuck, the team can cut the lowest priority items instead of continuing to scramble to complete an important part of the game in the last moment.

Unfortunately, one thing Kurosaki and Mumbauer didn’t say was when we could expect the first game of That’s No Moon to be released. The name of the studio, which is a clear reference to Star Wars, could be a clue that it works in a galaxy far away, but That’s No Moon hasn’t released such details about the first project. Hmm.

It’s worth noting that Lucasfilm Games is currently working with various studios (not just Electronic Arts). So partnerships on something related to Star Wars are not out of the question. Also, another recently established studio with a Star Wars-themed name, Twin Suns Corp., has already said it’s working on the original IP, so it’s probably a good name.

But hopefully in the near future you can learn more about That’s No Moon’s single-player action-adventure game.

https://www.polygon.com/22597795/thats-no-moon-studio-announcement-single-player-games

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