Former Naughty Dog, Infinity Ward, and PlayStation devs found new AAA studio

Captain Price
(Image credit: Activision)

A group of former developers from the likes of Infinity Ward, Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, Bungie, and more have set up a new game studio in That's No Moon.

The studio outlined its vision and staff in a post to its newly minted website. That's No Moon's heads include former Playstation Visual Arts lead Michael Mumbauer as CEO, former Sony Santa Monica product development director (and Giant Squid executive vice president) Tina Kowaleski as chief strategy officer, former Bungie foundation engineering lead Barry Genova as chief technology officer, and former EA senior development director Nick Kononelos as COO, to name a few. Collectively, the studio's staff have worked on God of War, Fortnite, The Last of Us 2, Destiny, Uncharted 4, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and more. 

That's No Moon

(Image credit: That's No Moon)

Somewhat unsurprisingly given its pedigree, That's No Moon's first game will be "an ambitious AAA single-player third-person action-adventure game." Taylor Kurosaki, formerly studio narrative director at Infinity Ward and narrative design lead at Naughty Dog, will head the studio's debut game as creative director. Jacob Minkoff, also of Infinity Ward and Naughty Dog fame, will serve as game director. 

"We believe in the importance of single-player narrative games and that story and gameplay are not two distinct ideas, but rather extensions of one another," Mumbaeur says in a statement on the studio's website, adding that "we want to make experiences that will stick with you for long after you put down the controller."

"We also believe that the stories we tell should not be limited by any given medium," Mumbaeur continues. "We want to create characters and worlds that begin in our games, but will eventually extend into linear media⁠ – whether that’s TV, film, or beyond." 

That's No Moon is currently building a Los Angeles studio to support its multimedia ambitions, but it also has a base in San Diego and is supported by remote workers. The studio has around 40 people on staff at the moment and hopes to expand to 100 developers by 2022. That's No Moon's foundation and growth were made possible in large part thanks to an investment topping $100 million from Smilegate, the South Korea-based developer and publisher behind the likes of CrossfireX and Epic Seven. 

Many AAA leads are putting down roots elsewhere. Last month, former Mass Effect director Casey Hudson founded new studio Humanoid

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.