Ori and The Blind Forest and Ori and The Will of The Wisps developer Moon Studios have decided not to partner with Xbox to publish their next game over some disagreements. Moon Studios founder Thomas Mahler recently criticised Xbox for creating “artificial barriers” when it comes to exclusivity, and will instead partner with Private Division on their next game.
Speaking on ResetEra recently, Mahler went into detail about his disagreements with Xbox’s vision (or lack thereof), citing them as creating “artificial barriers” in the industry. This mainly had to do with exclusivity reasons as Moon Studios received plenty of requests from fans to port the Ori games over to PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.
While Moon Studios were successful in porting both Ori games to Switch, it apparently didn’t come without a cost. It was only allowed to happen because “the title was small enough to not cause a fuss.” Moon Studios instead aims to bring their games to as large of an audience as possible, hence their decision to partner with Private Division who previously published The Outer Worlds (prior to Xbox’s acquisition of Obsidian Entertainment) and Hades.
While Mahler reiterated that he means no ill will to Xbox, he hopes that they will make good on their promise of “no artificial walls, no boundaries” in the future by getting their games into as many hands possible, regardless of platform. This decision ultimately led Moon Studios to sever their publishing ties with Xbox and move over to Private Division instead for their next game. Mahler also criticised the nature of exclusive games in general, mentioning both PlayStation and Nintendo as being “scared of change” as well.
Moon Studios’ next game has reportedly been in development since July, and will be a 3D action-RPG that aims to innovate the RPG genre. Ori and The Will of The Wisps is also currently available for Xbox, PC and Switch.