Ori Developer Moon Studios Labelled “Oppressive” Workplace In New Report

Image: Moon Studios

Moon Studios, the Austrian developer behind the Ori games, has been labelled an “oppressive” place to work in a new report.

According to GamesBeat, a number of “current and former” employees believe Moon’s “behind-the-scenes atmosphere” does not match up with the style and tranquility of its games. These issues within the studio are allegedly tied to founders Thomas Mahler and Gennadiy Korol.

Moon Studios’ almost entirely remote and “anti-corporate” culture has supposedly led to cases of casual racism, sexism and bullying. The founders also allegedly used an “open and honest” workplace structure to openly criticise the work of employees, and would very rarely praise work.

GamesBeat’s report says the employees are “fed up” with the inappropriate behaviour of the founders, but no one at this stage is filing a lawsuit against Moon Studios or those in charge. The report’s findings also suggest there’s a high turnover rate at Moon Studios, but the founders allegedly use the prestigious games of the studio to counter these issues.

Here’s part of an official response from the Moon Studios’ founders to the lengthy report:

“Moon Studios has prospered for 12 years. We have grown and learned so much over all of these years. We have been privileged to work with many, many great, and extremely talented people. We are truly grateful and proud of our team — those who are here today as well as those who spent time at Moon and have since moved to other ventures — and we are happy to have made a positive difference in their lives. We are not perfect but we deeply care about our talent and are constantly working hard to improve. If we have ever made anyone feel uncomfortable or let anyone down — we regret that and we will always strive to do better.”

— Thomas Mahler and Gennadiy Korol

Ori and the Blind Forest was released on the Switch in 2019 and followed with Ori and the WIll of the Wisps in 2020. Both games were highly praised on Nintendo’s hybrid platform.

If there are any developments, we’ll be sure to let you know.



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