Sony Wanted Limbo IP for Timed Exclusivity
Sony admits that it wanted the IP to Limbo to give the game a timed exclusive.
Business is a hard and confusing subject, which is why I switched majors. Recently at the Developers conference Sony executive producer Pete Smith stated that the Playstation Network could've had Limbo before Xbox Live Arcade if they had agreed to let the developers keep the rights to the IP.
Smith mentioned this during his presentation of what to do and what not to do when pitching a game to a publisher. Apparently Playdead was in talks with Sony to launch Limbo as a timed exclusive on the PSN but due to Sony's insistence on maintaining the rights to the IP, which of course resulted in the studio taking their title to Microsoft. Limbo then launched on XBLA two years ago where it performed phenomenally.
Smith went on to discuss what the advantages and disadvantages of maintaining IP rights were for developers. "There are obvious benefits to keeping it, but also to giving it up: you're way more likely to get the deal," he said. "Remember: 100 per cent of nothing is nothing. A publisher is much more likely to commit to marketing and merchandising if they own the IP.
"Sometimes all we want is protection so [devs] 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."
Obviously Limbo did just fine and ultimately Playdead made the right decision. It seems that IP rights can be a pretty complicated matter. When you know you have something great on your hands though, and you're confident that it will sell, I'd say holding on to the rights is a pretty good idea.
Originally reported on Edge Online