Moon Studios and Microsoft have apparently parted ways. We know Moon Studios as the development team behind the Ori game series, which consists of art and stories that are cherished by the gamers. This development occurred when multiple employees from the Studio came forward and shared their experiences about the unfit working environment. Many employees seem to complain that the environment as it was toxic to work in and promotes toxicity and racism.
An employee anonymously stated that:
“We really created something special, and I know the only way I was able to reconcile it was I was able to watch people on Twitch and watch other people get moved by it, and that was actually part of my healing process. Because maybe my suffering was worth it because other people felt something. In the end, I mean, so many of us were burned out.” (Noisy Pixel)
For a studio that has developed a game that holds a great place in many gamers’ hearts, the Studio is not a good representative of it. The employees feel that the only reconciliation they feel is when they see the streamers and reviews all praising the game as the Studio had no hand in handing them the praise they so dearly deserved. The owners of the Studio were reached out, but they deemed all the accusations as false and that they don’t represent the Studio at all.
Some leaked chats have also emerged in which the owners are ridiculing the developers. Nothing against the law has been reported; however, the devs have stated that working there was stressful, and they couldn’t continue any longer.
The Ori games were published under Microsoft and soon became fan favourites due to their heart-touching stories and fantastic art. The initial ratings were also 88%, proving the game a success and being tipped off for nominations for various awards. Microsoft has taken action against this oppression and has allegedly stopped working with Moon Studios. A tweet has also confirmed this from @DirectFeedGames.
As a result of the oppressive conditions, Microsoft stopped relations with Moon Studio — leading them to partner with Private Division for their next release.
A powerful move by Microsoft to show zero tolerance for such behaviour. A step in the right direction. https://t.co/EN11DfQNEu
— Direct-Feed Games (@DirectFeedGames) March 18, 2022
Moon Studios Under Similar Allegation As Blizzard
Similar to this incident, recently, another massive Studio, Blizzard, has been under fire due to a similar assertion claiming that the work environment is toxic and oppressing. Blizzard is best known for making Overwatch. The CEO of Blizzard studios has been reported to be the main reason for the delay behind Overwatch 2. A lawsuit is under progress against the company, which has resulted in even teams of employees resigning from the company, resultantly delaying the post-production phases of Overwatch 2.
The incident that occurred at Moon Studios is quite similar to that of Blizzard. So far, no lawsuit has been triggered in the case of Moon Studios as of yet. However, We will keep an eye out for further developments in this case.