Last week the UK played host to a Develop Conference. Pete Smith, a Sony producer had some very interesting words about Limbos origins, apparently those origins were PlayStation bound. Summer 2010 the critically and commercially successful Xbox Live title Limbo was released, this atmospheric title was held in high regard for its stunning visual style and has become one of the best 2D platformers of this generation. PlayStation Network and Steam were finally able to play this game a year later.
Sony has however spoke frankly about why Limbo was almost exclusive to the PlayStation console via Edge. “I maybe shouldn’t say this,” Smith said, “but we had issues when we were trying to sign Limbo because of the IP.”, Sony’s insistence over owning the IP forced PlayDead (The Developer) to head over to Xbox Live instead. “There are obvious benefits to keeping [an IP], but also to giving it up: you’re way more likely to get the deal. Remember: 100 percent of nothing is nothing. A publisher is much more likely to commit to marketing and merchandising if they own the IP.”
As stated PlayDead wanted to keep the rights to Limbo within house to try and gain as much profit as possible, but to also have complete creative control of the title in the coming years allowing a sequel to possibly be developed without much of a problem. With the game selling absurd amounts on every platform graced with its presence, it is clear PlayDead made the right call financially.
Sony definitely made the wrong move when it comes to the Limbo developers, most likely in their mind a mistake that will hopefully never repeat itself.