Ori has been one of the most successful Metroidvania series of all time. And Moon Studios probably wouldn’t be in the industry today if it weren’t for the first game’s commercial performance.

Ori games sold 10 million copies, and Blind Forest saved Moon Studios from bankruptcy

Ori and the Blind Forest

As Moon Studios CEO and creative director Thomas Mahler wrote on X over the weekend, if Ori and the Blind Forest “would have flopped back then, we would’ve been bankrupt as a studio.”

He noted the entire series, comprised of Blind Forest and its sequel Ori and the Will of the Wisps, sold around 10 million copies globally. This “probably makes it the most successful Metroidvania series ever made,” Mahler added.

It is unclear how many copies each game has sold and how the figures are split between platforms. But Mahler said Blind Forest initially had a not-so-great launch on Nintendo Switch because on the day of its release, “Ori was nowhere to be found on their store page and if you searched for ‘Ori’, all you found was ‘Paper Mario: Origami King.'”

Moon Studios was co-founded by Thomas Mahler and Gennadiy Korol in 2010. At the beginning, the team made several prototypes, trying to pitch them to publishers. One of them, a platformer named Sein, caught the attention of Microsoft, which agreed to fund the game.

Sein eventually turned into Ori and the Blind Forest, a Metroidvania that took about four years to develop. Launched in March 2015, it received critical acclaim and became profitable for Microsoft just one week after its release, and it also took the game a couple of weeks of sales to become profitable for Moon Studios.

The success of Blind Forest not only allowed the studio to stay afloat, but also helped it increase its team size and come up with an ambitious sequel. Will of the Wisps, also published by Xbox and released in March 2020, received even greater acclaim and is now widely considered one of the best Metroidvanias of all time.

Mahler also recently noted that Moon Studios always wanted to stay independent. Even despite Ori’s worldwide success, they never thought about selling the company to a large publisher. “We always wanted to make our own luck,” Mahler said. “Whether we rise or fall should be in our own hands, not based on shareholders!”

Moon Studios, which currently employs over 80 people, is preparing to launch its third game, action RPG with Soulslike elements No Rest for the Wicked. It is expected to launch on April 16, 2024.

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