“That’s no moon — it’s a space station.”
A horrified Obi-Wan Kenobi utters these words upon catching his first glimpse of the planet-killing Death Star in the original Star Wars back in 1977. But in July 2021, That’s No Moon is a far more enticing prospect for video game fans.
That’s No Moon Entertainment is a new independent AAA game development studio founded by veterans of Naughty Dog, Infinity Ward, Sony’s Santa Monica Studio, Bungie, EA, PlayStation, and more. A July 28 press release describes the studio as inhabiting “the intersections of games, film, and TV,” with an aim of crafting “a new generation of narrative-driven, genre-defining experiences that will span both interactive and linear media.”
Despite the studio name’s homage to the words of good old Ben Kenobi, representatives from That’s No Moon confirmed to Inverse that a Star Wars game is not currently in development.
The studio’s yet-to-be-revealed debut project will be “an ambitious, new action-adventure game that will push the limits of both gameplay and story.”
On the subject of the studio’s name, That's No Moon CEO Michael Mumbauer tells Inverse, "When we started thinking about what we wanted to call the studio, we really wanted to convey ideas of wonder and awe. We were building this incredible veteran team with combined experience unlike anything seen before. That's No Moon was the perfect choice because it evokes those moments in entertainment that ignite your imagination and deliver something truly unexpected."
The studio’s unnamed debut project will see Taylor Kurosaki (formerly Studio Narrative Director of Infinity Ward and Narrative Design Lead at Naughty Dog) serving as Creative Director alongside Game Director Jacob Minkoff (formerly Design Director of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare at Infinity Ward and Lead Game Designer on The Last of Us at Naughty Dog).
That’s No Moon and its debut project are backed by “an unprecedented partnership and more than $100 million investment” from Smilegate Entertainment — the South Korean creators of the enormously successful first-person shooter Crossfire.
“We started That’s No Moon with a singular vision of creating unforgettable stories and characters that will define and extend beyond our medium,” said Michael Mumbauer, CEO of That’s No Moon. “I’m proud to share that ambition with such a talented team of creators and our incredible partners at Smilegate.”
While not as well known in the west, the free-to-play Crossfire has become one of the highest-grossing video games of all time, with 670 million registered users and revenue exceeding $12 billion since it debuted in 2007.
“Smilegate is thrilled to be collaborating with the storytellers and game makers at That’s No Moon to create new experiences that will inspire empathy and deeper personal connections with players around the world,” said Harold Kim, VP of Business Development at Smilegate. “We look forward to working with them and continuing to invest in visionary development teams seeking to bring bold new ideas and innovation to gaming.”