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Playdead buys independence from investors

By Matthew Handrahan

Wed 31 Aug 2011 12:57pm GMT / 8:57am EDT / 5:57am PDT

Limbo studio moves closer to full independence ahead of next project

Playdead has bought itself back from its shareholders, 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 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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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,292 456 0.4
Now that's good news. I really hope it goes well for them, and I hope their next game is as good as Limbo.

Posted:5 years ago


Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

962 187 0.2
I love their spirit, hope you go from strength to strength!

Posted:5 years ago


Aaron Grommesh Community Manager, ThatGameCompany

8 0 0.0
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

Posted:5 years ago


Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis

472 348 0.7
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.

Posted:5 years ago

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.

Posted:5 years ago


Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,289 126 0.1
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.

Posted:5 years ago


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