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Playdead buys independence from investors

Limbo studio moves closer to full independence ahead of next project

Playdead has bought itself back from its shareholders, Next-Gen.biz reports.

The Danish developer worked in conjunction with investment banking consultant GP Bullhound to regain its independence going into its next project.

"We are really happy about how it turned out even though the cost was higher than we had hoped," said CEO Dino Patti. "The process was very educational and this is a big step on our way to become fully independent."

Playdead's debut game, Limbo, was self-funded at first, but Patti and game director Arnt Jensen turned to investors as the project expanded.

In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz last month, Patti suggested that the studio was eager to free itself from investor control.

"We're aiming to be even more independent than we were before, and that's expensive," he said. "What I'm hinting at, really, is that we're investor-backed. So in that sense we're trying to become more independent.

"In that sense...people who pay for the projects are the ones controlling it. We're really aiming to use our own money, we're our best investors. We're the ones who know what we want. We want to control micro-decisions. We'll probably want to sanity check them with people but we want to have control."

"For us, if we can somehow keep the creative control and the IP, then we'd probably collaborate with someone. But if they would take our freedom and creative control, we would never say yes to it. That's not where we come from."

To read the full interview with Patti, click here.

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Latest comments (6)

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game5 years ago
Now that's good news. I really hope it goes well for them, and I hope their next game is as good as Limbo.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 5 years ago
I love their spirit, hope you go from strength to strength!
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Aaron Grommesh Community Manager, ThatGameCompany5 years ago
That's awesome!

I always find it strange when corporations that were at first creative end up stifling creativity when you bring in investors. If investors want to invest in a company, they have to realize that the only way the company can prosper is if it continues to innovate, meaning failing gracefully nine times and making a big win once.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Aaron Grommesh on 31st August 2011 5:43pm

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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis5 years ago
I never bought Limbo as it wasn't my kind of game but congratulations to the guys for gaining their independence back again and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next.
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Limbo was great game. However, I find it strange if their investor really tampers with actual projects. Investor should know better: they are the experts on financial things, developer is the expert when it comes to games. Or then they have invested into wrong dev, but that's not the case with Playdead.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 5 years ago
Good for them. Apparently their next game is still 3.5 years away (I think I read that on Eurogamer?), so either they've got a massive loan from the bank and/or Limbo has made them a lot of money and is likely to have a long tail. Either way, I really enjoyed Limbo and look forward to their next game*. They're striving for true independence and excellence which is really encouraging.

*I haven't actually finished Limbo as my PS3 HDD corrupted a couple of weeks back and I lost about 2 hours' work. I was on the puzzle where the pressure pad reverses the gravity and sends two boxes up to the ceiling.
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