Moon Studios never intended to simply ride the success of the first game and create a “cash-in or boring sequel” with Ori and the Will of the Wisps. The developer instead wanted to “add more stuff and more elements” that would further evolve gameplay and the genre in general.
Speaking with Wireframe for the latest issue, Moon Studios CEO Thomas Mahler stated that Microsoft as a partner was an excellent choice. The publisher, according to Mahler, was understanding of the fact that Moon Studios was not the kind to be just milking a franchise. What Microsoft saw was that Moon Studios wanted to create a masterpiece with Ori and the Will of the Wisps and here, Mahler compared his own studio with how Blizzard used to be in the late 90s and early 20s — a studio which always ships something grand and exciting.
For Will of the Wisps it was different – we saw we had a lot of good stuff, but what was very clear to me is that we didn’t want to make a cash-in sequel… we didn’t want to make a boring sequel – we’re not that kind of studio.
We’ve always been looking for partners who allow us to do this, and Microsoft has been excellent with that – [they’ve] really understood our mission to be the kind of studio that Blizzard used to be in the late 1990s and early 2000s, where you know these are a bunch of crazy people who just polish the hell out of their games and try to make masterpieces. Whenever they ship something, it’s going to be exciting.
Mahler also made comparisons with Nintendo and how the first Super Mario Bros. revolutionised platformers but still managed to further evolve with Super Mario Bros. 3. That yearning for evolution is what ends up creating masterpieces, noted Mahler. Microsoft saw this in Moon Studios, particularly with Ori and the Will of the Wisps where the first game was basically Super Mario Bros. and the sequel aims to be the stellar Super Mario Bros. 3. According to Mahler, “that’s what we did withOri and the Will of the Wisps.
Recently, Mahler took to Twitter to ask if players would be interested in playing the sequel at 120Hz on Xbox One. The higher refresh rate would allow Ori and the Will of the Wisps to run at a higher frame rate, something that players are always in need of in this day and age. If that becomes a possibility for the sequel, you better hope that you have a suitable monitor or television at hand.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps will release on March 11, 2020, for Xbox One and PC.