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Playdead: We're trying to become more independent

Limbo developer keen to retain creative control but aware of financial risks if it breaks from investors

Playdead CEO Dino Patti has said that he'd love his studio's next game to be entirely self-published and funded, but is aware of the financial risks and implications of that route.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at Barcelona's Gamelab event, Patti talked passionately about the importance of retaining creative control over the studio's future projects, but acknowledged that a retail failure would be an extremely severe setback.

For Limbo, the company had the support of the Nordic Game Program with early funding, as well as Microsoft's publishing assistance and the funds of an external investor to offer something of a safety net.

"We're aiming to be even more independent than we were before, and that's expensive," said Patti.

"What I'm hinting at, really, is that we're currently investor-backed. So in that sense we're trying to become more independent. In that sense, having control of our project - 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."

However, Patti understands that reward entails a huge potential risk, too.

"No way, it has to be a success too," replied Patti when asked if the success of Limbo could support a retail failure for the mystery game Playdead has in the works.

"Not every project has to, but I know the next one must. I'll put it another way - we'd probably need some funding for the next project."