Limbo Was Almost A PSN Exclusive
Sony certainly manage to nab their fair-share of quality indie titles for PSN and they could have added Limbo to that list if they hadn’t screwed it up. Sure, Limbo is currently available on PSN, Steam and XBLA but it was an Xbox exclusive for an entire year before developer Playdead brought it over to PC and PS3. Now, if you’re sitting there wondering what all the fuss is about then you’ve certainly been sitting in the shadows too long because not only is Limbo one of the finest games you will ever play but it is also one of the most popular downloadable games of all time. That game could have been a PS3 exclusive if Sony hadn’t cocked it up.
While speaking at Brighton’s Develop conference, SCE executive producer Pete Smith revealed that Sony was in negotiations with Playdead to make Limbo a PSN exclusive but the whole deal fell through when Sony demanded to retain rights to the IP. They got greedy and tried to tie the developer down which is pretty much a cardinal sin in the indie world. Ironically, Smith revealed this during a panel on how to pitch games to publishers.
Playdead then took Limbo over to Microsoft who embraced it with open arms and the game went on to sell 500 000 copies on Xbox Live.
The mistake cost Sony but Smith seems adamant that they were justified in their greed.
“Sometimes all we want is protection, so [developers] don’t make a game, finish it, then go to one of our rivals. We look at IP on a case by case basis. With a bit of common sense, you can find common ground.”
Smith also urged developers to think about giving up IP. “Remember: 100 percent of nothing is nothing,” he told the audience. “A publisher is much more likely to commit to marketing and merchandising if they own the IP.”