Heartfelt adventure game To The Moon is becoming a feature-length animated film

To The Moon is being made into a full-fat animated film, developer Freebird Games announced today. 

The studio says the film has been in the works for two years and that production is now officially underway, with Chinese company Ultron Event Horizon providing the funding for the Japanese studios creating it. 

Freebird didn't specify who's working on the film, but in his announcement video, To The Moon creator Kan Gao said the "first-tier" studios involved are "pretty big players in the [Japanese] animation industry." If I were a betting man, I'd bet on A-1 Pictures, the studio behind other videogame adaptations like the Persona 3 films and the Brotherhood: Final Fantasy 15 animated series, as well as recent shorts like Shelter. But that's just a guess on my part. 

Gao also briefly touched on his role in the film's creation. "I won't have absolute control over the project," he said, "but I will be able to steer it in the right direction." Gao said making games at Freebird is still his primary focus, and that he's "started more actively working on the next game," which is still unannounced. His most recent game, Finding Paradise, a follow-up to To The Moon, released in December 2017. 

Production on the film only recently began, and Freebird hasn't even offered a tentative release window. About the only thing we know about the film itself is that its budget is said to be "above the level" of Your Name, an anime film from 2016 which went on to become the highest grossing anime ever, surpassing even Hayao Miyazaki's beloved works. "Does a good budget guarantee a good film?" Gao said. "Not necessarily. But a lack of budget certainly doesn't help."

While we wait for more details on To The Moon's film, have a gander at Gao's early works, a collection of strange, poetic, and almost universally sad games.