After a successful release on Xbox Live Arcade (it is among the top ten all-time best -selling XBLA games), followed by additional versions on PC and PS3, Limbo developer Playdead has made enough money to buy its full share of the company back from their early investors.
While Limbo was in very early development, Playdead co-founders Dino Patti and Arnt Jensen funded development themselves, along with some help from a grant given by the Danish Government. As the scope of the project increased, it became obvious that they would need additional funding, so they brought in some outside investors to help fund the project to completion.
While extra money can certainly help a studio like Playdead fully realize their projects, outside investors can threaten the creative independence of game developers. Now that Playdead is entirely independent, they can move on with their next project having full control over the direction.
CEO Dino Patti has made it seem like they had to pay quite a bit to free themselves from the investor’s part-ownership. “We are really happy about how it turned out even though the cost was higher than we had hoped” he has said in an interview with Edge Magazine.
Playdead is already hard at work on their next title, and has said they will be using a 3rd party engine instead of a proprietary one like was used in Limbo. Though there are many people that will be keeping a close eye on the latest project, it may be a while before we actually see it. Dino has also stated he believes the new game will take at least three and a half years to complete.