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Triple-A vets set up new studio That's No Moon backed by Korea's Smilegate

Date Type Companies involved Size
July 29th, 2021 investment $100m
Triple-A vets set up new studio That's No Moon backed by Korea's Smilegate

Former employees at Naughty Dog, Infinity Ward, Sony Santa Monica, EA and Bungie have established a brand new triple-A studio called That's No Moon.

As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the venture has received the backing of Korean games giant Smilegate to the tune of $100 million and is apparently working on a story-driven action-adventure title. That's perhaps not surprising when you look at who is founding the company; the project's creative director Taylor Kurosaki and game director Jacob Minkoff both have worked at The Last of Us maker Naughty Dog and Call of Duty firm Infinity Ward.

Other founding members include CEO Michael Mumbauer (pictured) – previously head of PlayStation's Visual Arts Group – Sony Santa Monica vet Tina Kowalewski, who is working as the venture's chief strategy officer, and COO Nick Kononelos, an alumnus of EA. Finally, Bungie vet Barry Genova is working as CTO while That's No Moon's finances are being headed up by former PlayStation staffer George Allison.

That's No Moon has been around for just six months and has fewer than 40 employees at the moment, but intends to grow to 100 staff by the end of 2022.

"We're a talent-driven industry, and the talent That's No Moon has was literally at the beginning of what you see as the modern narrative single-player experiences," Mumbauer told GI.biz.

"Taylor and Jacob were both instrumental in delivering and designing the holistic story and game design philosophies as early as Uncharted 2, and then in The Last of Us, which I think made a tremendous change in our industry.

"We're so fortunate to have so much talent from those studios. What we haven't lost is our desire to compete and to make great entertainment, the best-in-class games. You need that kind of spirit and desire... When you look at the disruptors in other industries like Image Comics, which I think is a perfect example. The industry changed for the better -- so much visual quality, so much storytelling came from these amazing pioneers that were building that at Marvel. We're doing the same thing, we're taking the best talent in our space and pulling them all together to form something completely new, and look at things completely differently."


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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