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Co-founder Thomas Mahler thinks the Ori games' sales milestone makes it 'probably the most successful Metroidvania series ever made.'

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 11, 2024

2 Min Read
Key art for Ori & the Will of the Wisps.
Image via Moon Studios/Xbox Game Studios.

At a Glance

  • The first two games from Moon Studios have seen great success, and helped pave the way for Xbox's multiplatform approach.

Moon Studios CEO Thomas Mahler says the developer's Ori franchise sold 10 million copies worldwide. To date, the two-game series are its only releases across its 14-year life.

Mahler was frank in saying its 2015 debut, Ori & the Blind Forest, could've bankrupted the studio if it flopped. "Thank god it didn't," he noted. "We sold around 10m copies of Ori so far."

Both Ori games launched as Xbox exclusives, meaning Microsoft really only highlights their Xbox Game Pass metrics. This marks the first tangible evidence of their commercial performance.

However, it's not clear when this milestone was hit, or which of the two games is leading the charge on those sales.

Blind Forest's sequel, Ori & the Will of the Wisps, released in 2020. Its Nintendo Switch version released months after its Xbox and PC release, while Blind Forest came to Switch in 2019.

Xbox recently announced its plans to bring several Xbox exclusives to PlayStation and Nintendo. In their own way, the Ori games helped pave the way for Microsoft's decision.

Mahler noted that the Switch versions had the rougher launches. Nintendo's eShop gave Moon "quite some trouble," not helped by search results for "Ori" leading to Paper Mario: The Origami King.

In his eyes, the Ori games are "[probably] the most successful Metroidvania series ever made."

Moon Studios may not be as wholesome as its games

The Ori games' success has seemingly come at the expense of its staff. In 2022, past and present employees alleged Moon housed a toxic work culture.

Mahler and his co-founder Gennadiy Korol were condemned for enabling bullying, sexism, and racism at the Austrian studio. The pair were accused of humiliating staff in public, and making "unprofessional and offensive comments."

The duo acknowledged their tendency to go over the line, but largely denied the claims, saying they don't represent the entire Moon staff.

"There may have been times that our teasing of each other has come off as insensitive and may have made others feel uncomfortable," Mahler and Korol said in a joint statement.

Moon's next project is No Rest for the Wicked, which will launch on Xbox Early Access in April.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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