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Details emerge of Playdead split

Dispute between founders lead to payout of €7.2m for departing Dino Patti

Some of the details behind the acrimonious split between Playdead's management, which resulted in the departure of co-founder Dino Patti from the company, have emerged after a Danish newspaper reported on a rift which had developed between him and creative director Arnt Jensen.

What exactly caused the initial breakdown in communication between the two friends remains unclear, and neither party is wiling to make those details public at this time, but Patti has stated that any press speculation on arguments about IP ownership and release schedules is unfounded. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, he said that the reasons remain private.

However, he did confirm that the conflict lead to Jensen submitting a letter of resignation, and that the nature of that letter is what lead to the irreconcilable differences resulting in Patti's departure.

Primarily, it's a debate about exactly what job Jensen was resigning from. Jensen claims this letter referred only to his position as creative director, with his intention being that he remain an executive of Playdead, but Patti says that distinction wasn't clear from the letter and he believed that the resignation was total. Acting on that, he removed Jensen from the company CVR register, which records various aspects of a company's personnel and financial information for the Danish government.

Jensen's lawyers argued that this wasn't the case, and formally supported the position that Jensen had only resigned as creative director, not as an executive. With the relationship seemingly unable to be rescued, the Danish Business Authority intervened, as is protocol, and Patti agreed to sell his share, taking €7.2 million (50m DKK) for his 49% of the company. Jensen, who has refused to comment on the issue so far, remains at Playdead.

For his part, Patti has expressed sadness at the way the relationship ended describing it as a very personal situation and saying that he and Jensen had been very good friends for a number of years.

"It has of course been hard to leave the company I've been part of building, and it's a bit sad not to have a daily interaction with all of the great people working there," said Patti via email. "Arnt has been a really good friend and business partner for many years, and as I stated in the Danish article, I think he's one of the best game-directors in the world."

For now, Patti is keeping future plans to himself, but doesn't seem to be heading into retirement.

"Right now I'm exploring different opportunities," he said. "I'm sure I have more to share later this year."

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