Infinity Ward, Naughty Dog, and Sony Vets Found New Studio, Smilegate Invests $100 Million

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AAA indie studios backed by big-name veteran creators have begun popping up with increasing frequency in recent years, and the creatively-named That’s No Moon may be one of the most promising yet. Founded by a laundry list of vets from Infinity Ward, Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, Bungie, and EA, That’s No Moon has secured a $100 million investment from CrossFire publisher Smilegate to make a third-person “story-driven action-adventure game.”

The studio’s new game will be headed up by former Naughty Dog and Infinity Ward creative director Taylor Kurosaki and directed by The Last of Us lead designer Jacob Minkoff. Other names on the That’s No Moon team include Michael Mumbauer (PlayStation Visual Arts Group), Tina Kowalewski (Sony Santa Monica, Giant Squid), Barry Genova (Bungie), George Allison (PlayStation), Nick Kononelos (EA). The goal is to grow the studio’s staff to around 100 by next year.

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Details on That’s No Moon’s first project are scant, and despite the obvious reference in the studio’s title, you shouldn’t expect a Star Wars game. That said, Smilegate VP Harold Kim says the game will tell “a very positive story, giving an uplifting message but also being very thought-provoking” and the studio’s official announcement mentions the game will “span interactive and linear media.” That’s No Moon CEO Michael Mumbauer seems to hint we’ll see something in the same vein as the team’s past works, particularly The Last of Us, even if story itself isn’t that similar…

At the centre you have these successful and prolific creators who are directing very specific new mechanics and story opportunities -- I can't get into the specifics of it without telling you everything, but what I can say is they're all evolutions of the language that was developed by these creators for over a decade. Just wait -- I know that's tough -- and I think you'll really start to see what we're talking about.

Platforms and a release window have yet to be announced for That’s No Moon’s first project.

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