Playdead buys more independence from investors

Playdead buys more independence from investors

By Rob Crossley

August 31st 2011 at 1:56PM

Limbo studio insists it has no interest in being bought out

Leading Denmark group Playdead has paid off early company investors, the studio’s CEO has said, in a move that edges it closer to becoming a wholly self-funded independent group.

Playdead chief Dino Patti (pictured, centre) said the cost of buying equity back from investors “was higher than we had hoped", though further financial details were not disclosed.

In an interview with Edge, Patti said the buy-back “is a big step on our way to become fully independent" – an implication that the studio still uses external funding or still has shares to buy back.

Game director Arnt Jensen, also a co-founder, indicated that he would refuse acquisition offers from any publishing groups.

“We’ve been thinking about this: If we should sell the company or IP, what would we do with the money?” he asked.

“We’d probably start another independent company just to do what we do, but that’s what we’re already doing, so why? Why sell this? It’s kind of ridiculous, really.”

The Limbo studio opened in 2006 with the help of its founder’s own money, along with what is thought to be a small grant from the Danish government. The group later sought external investment.

Playdead had in its early days contacted publishers to broker a publishing deal for Limbo. The response had not been ideal.

“Publishers weren’t coming with specific offers, but were trying to find out if this was something that was saleable, or what price they could offer for the Limbo IP, and if we would we sell,” he said.

Both co-founders, featured in the latest issue of Edge magazine, also claimed that Playdead was at one stage close to moving from Denmark to the US, mainly due to the limited pool of talent in European country.

Playdead’s next game, built using the Unity 3D engine, is thought will not be released before 2013.

Image: Edge