Sony lost Limbo deal because it wanted IP rights

Edge reports: Sony lost out on the chance to release million-selling indie adventure Limbo before Microsoft because it wanted rights to the IP, the company has admitted.

Speaking at the Develop Conference in Brighton last week, Sony Computer Entertainment executive producer Pete Smith admitted that the company was in talks with Danish studio Playdead about releasing Limbo exclusively on PSN. Talks broke down, however, after Sony insisted on retaining IP rights as part of the deal.

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Hellsvacancy3852d ago

I dont blame Sony for trying to own it, its a GREAT little game, one of the most enjoyable games ive played this gen

I dont understand this bit "but it would have done much better had Sony got there first" my logic tells me the more platforms your IP is on the more it well sell

P_Bomb3852d ago

I think he meant that it would have sold better on PSN had it not already been out for a year on the 360 prior. Kinda like how Joe Danger didn't do as well on XBLA a year after PSN.

xPhearR3dx3851d ago

Joe Danger isn't all that great anyway. Plus, Trials Evo is 10,000x better.

dubt723851d ago

You forgot some zeroes...

awi59513851d ago

It would be so stupid for them to give away their IP. Look at call of duty, they take your game from you give it to someone else then fire you.

darthv723851d ago

LBP was pitched to MS and turned down due to user created content.

The decisions these companies make are tough ones but I bet they have many others they regret more than losing out on a game or two.

IHateYouFanboys3851d ago

@darthv72: "LBP was pitched to MS and turned down due to user created content. "

got a source or 2 to back that up? cause that makes no sense.

Halo, the biggest exclusive game of this generation, encourages and promotes user created content through Forge and creating your own game modes.

Forza, one of microsofts other biggest franchises, encourages and promotes user created content by having an in-game marketplace for users to sell their creations.

Trials Evolution, one of the biggest and highest rated arcade/psn games, encourages and promotes user generated content beyond even the level that LBP does. you dont make "fake" FPS levels in Trials, you make ACTUAL FPS levels in Trials.

but please, prove me wrong.....

on topic - sucks to be you sony. the greedy publisher in sony got the better of them and they lost one of the best games of the generation for 12 months to their competition.

Outside_ofthe_Box3851d ago (Edited 3851d ago )

LMAO @ ILoveYour360Fanboys / IHateYouSonyFanboys


darthv723851d ago

sorry I do not have any links. I thought it was a well known fact (as told on N4G) that user created mods (or the lack of) were reasons why unreal didnt get support or that even LBP was turned down.

MS obviously is concerned for their infrastructure and would like to be the ones to limit what can be created. Just as your example of Forge. You can only make what is within the games design and available to use.

While that me be user created, it is user created within the boundaries of the game itself. Unreal and LBP offered the input of outside content that could be created and used in the game.

If true about LBP, MS missed a good opportunity there.

Muffins12233851d ago

Trials Evolution....nuff said

ShinMaster3851d ago (Edited 3851d ago )



Sony got greedy? So are you going to excuse Microsoft from doing the exact same thing with other games and DLC?

Also, it's not hard to recreate a game with Line Rider physics like Trials HD on LBP/2.

It seems like 'Trials Evolution' has become the (one)game that 360 fans keep bringing up, but others don't seem to pay attention to LOL.
Not that it's a bad game or anything like that.

So anyway, back on topic.... what was it? Oh yeah, LIMBO. We already got to play it on PS3 and 360. Nice game.

Silly gameAr3851d ago


Trails Evolution? Never played it.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 3851d ago
shutUpAndTakeMyMoney3852d ago (Edited 3852d ago )

It would be stupid for limbo to only be sold on ps3. Even the journey devs are going multi-plate.

UnitSmiley3852d ago

Lol I don't know why you got down votes (and i'm a PS3 fan :p)

Though, this is the point when Microsoft fans act like whatever new game from ThatGameCompany is the greatest thing ever, and the other games that weren't on the 360 don't matter. *facepalm*

OmniSlashPT3852d ago

thatgamecompany had a 3 game contract with Sony (flOw, Flower and Journey). The contract is over, so they are 'free' now. It's not because they need to go multiplat or they need more money, it's because of their contract. Sony helped them grow, and now they are targeting a wider audience.

Sincerely, I'm really glad they're going multi-plat, everyone deserves to play games like Journey and such.

nukeitall3852d ago (Edited 3852d ago )


"It's not because they need to go multiplat or they need more money, it's because of their contract"

It's hard to say, but the allure of multi-platform for a wider audience is definitely a good incentive to any developer. Who wouldn't want their game played by more people and make some extra bucks while at it?

I think Sony just didn't have a good enough offer to keep them exclusive. That's technically a win for gamers in general!

dcbronco3851d ago (Edited 3851d ago )


It's a sad time we live in when agenda gets in the way of facts. Even when the dev says we're going multi-plat, some disagree.


When you borrow that much money and take on a board member from the financing company, you're going to go whatever direction is needed to make the payments on that loan. Multi is the best route for that. Though they might have jammed themselves. Some gamers can be petty and vindictive and stop supporting a company that is no longer exclusive to their console of choice.

Again, we live in a sad time.

Outside_ofthe_Box3851d ago

***"I think Sony just didn't have a good enough offer to keep them exclusive."***

You think? Well, think no more. thatgamecompany had a contract with Sony and now it's over, thus they are multiplat now. It has nothing to do with not making a good enough offer. Just stating the facts..

Christopher3851d ago

***I think Sony just didn't have a good enough offer to keep them exclusive. That's technically a win for gamers in general!***

But, to be honest, the only offer that would be "good enough" would be if Sony pretty much covered all their dev needs without buying them up as a first-party studio.

To note, they currently only have plans of moving to PC, but let's hope they move as far as they can. Everyone deserves to play their games.

gaffyh3851d ago

Actually, it is a very good idea to go exclusive to a platform if you are a new or small development team, because it means that you will be supported, like thatgamecompany. Now that they have experience, and funding, they can go multiplatform.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 3851d ago
nukeitall3852d ago (Edited 3852d ago )

It's ironic since Sony was touting how open PSN was, yet an indie dev can't even publish their game. At least on XBL anyone with a $100 can self-publish if negotiation fails!

In the end though, PS3 owners didn't loose out they still got this great game and in a twist of irony I think they got some extra content. Anyone confirm?

Skate-AK3851d ago

Yes it did have exclusive content but just like an extra level. If a timed exclusive for 360 also wants to release on PSN they have to have something exculsive. It's the same for Sony too. That's why Joe Danger for 360 had extra content.

ShinMaster3851d ago

Sony was touting?

Game developers were the ones who said how XBL had more restrictions than PSN when it comes to online game development.


nukeitall3851d ago (Edited 3851d ago )


PSP Minis requrie an SDK that cost around $1500+ with other requirements.


That's a good thing that there is more content. I just wish all content would be available to everyone on all platforms.

dark-hollow3851d ago

Hah! When Ms does shit like that they are the evil corporation who wants a monopoly on downloadable games, but when Sony does it its "understandable".

Another day in n4g...

BitbyDeath3851d ago

I think your referring to timed exclusives being a waste of money as opposed to buying an IP.

MS need to do more of that.

Hicken3851d ago

Microsoft does it, a dev puts out maybe one game, and then we never hear from them again.

Sony does it, a dev makes a successful, critically acclaimed franchise, and then they depart amicably, IF they depart.

joab7773851d ago

Sounds like something Microsoft would do. Please tell me they didn't get the rights. Microsoft had their summer arcade event and was dominating online. It would have come out later anyway on psn so I guess it was worth a shot at the time.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3851d ago
m-s-8-23852d ago

Can't say I blame them. After what happened way back when with Crash and Spyro they won't take any chances.

NYC_Gamer3852d ago

Studios should never sell their ip rights to any publisher

Persistantthug3852d ago

For example HEAVY RAIN.....Sony heavily marketed and helped fund that game.

I don't think it's unfair for Sony to own HEAVY RAIN.

What do you think?

dcbronco3851d ago (Edited 3851d ago )

You still shouldn't have to sell the rights. An advertising budget should buy you exclusivity, not the IP. MS doesn't own Gears, but they produced a 10 million dollar advertising campaign for exclusivity. Gears is a far more valuable franchise. The difference was Epic had the financial and stability position to stand their ground. I don't know that QD was in need of money. But giving up the IP for advertising says they were unsure about their position.

On another note. I thought Sony didn't pay for exclusives. Handing someone a check isn't the only way to get exclusivity. So I guess people can spell Sony like this now: $ony.

Outside_ofthe_Box3851d ago


Sony put some of their own money into the game. It wasn't just advertizing.


dcbronco3851d ago (Edited 3851d ago )

Doesn't matter, They shouldn't get the IP. No investor should. It's like a bank still owning your house after you pay it off. They profited on the interest like Sony profits on exclusivity. It's the poor system we have accepted to get ahead. It's why the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. If any company was really cares about growing the industry, they would take a chance on their support paying off in a reasonable fashion. Expecting to own the IP is gouging. Look at what Marvel and the studios originally tried to do to Stan Lee. Big corporations are often criminal in the way they go about business.

RememberThe3573851d ago

Sony wont publish IPs they don't own anymore. They were burned by Crash and Spyro and they've said it publicly that if they publish a game they own the IP.

@dcbronco: I have to stop you right there. You seem to be taking some delusional angle on this concept. This is not the reason why people are poor and it's not an issue of caring about the industry. It's an issue of learning from the past that you need to own what you invest in. In the case of Crash and Spyro Sony invested in growing the IPs then lost them and watched other companies make money off them. They then made it a point to own whatever IP they decide to put money into. This is as common a business practice as payroll, so I'm failing to see why you think it's such an issue with videogames. If you want investment you need collateral and companies need more than just the promise of future success when devoting tens of millions of dollars into a projuect.

Its not about trying to rule the world or oppress the poor. Its about securing your investment.

Listen I'm all about social justice, but in the right settings. Publisher/developer relations is not one of those settings. Both developers and publisher make tons of money.

Whatever your on right now you should probably get off of. I've read some really intelligent comments from you and these are not among them.

Persistantthug3851d ago

Obviously there are alot of developers that don't have the stature and/or don't have the money to get their game(s) out.

If that's what is being requested, and if said developer is being compensated.....maybe they were even given a huge signing bonus.

The point is, you can't say they should never, because each developers situation is different.
I'm just sayin.

DonMingos3851d ago

That's true, Bungie shouldn't have sold Halo to M$

Patriots_Pride3851d ago (Edited 3851d ago )

@OUT_SIDE_OFTHEBOX - MS also put some of their own money into Alan Wake but they do not own the IP....whats your point.

@Don Mingos - Bungie did not sell Halo to MS. Bungie was owned by Apple and then MS but Bungie from Apple which gave MS the Halo rights.

Apple still regrets that move up till this day and admits that they did not have faith in Halo but MS saw something special in the game and it paid off.

@every one above - Both M$ and $ONY #1 objective is to make a profit and the business world is a dog eat dog world. The people thinking that your company of choice is the best and they care about you are -_-
Bungie and Imsoniac are a perfect example of developers standing up to thie big companies. Bungie worked for MS for years and Imsoniac worked for Sony for years and at the ned they had nothing to show for it - now both of them worked out a deal that makes them own their IP with other publishers.

Spydiggity3851d ago (Edited 3851d ago )

someone on n4g that understands that sony is just as much in it to make money and that the notion of a corporation "caring" about people is absurd? i must be dreaming...or dead. oh god!

the fact is that ms and sony both only care about the bottom dollar, MS just happens to be way way WAY more successful than sony and therefore they are the "evil" company.

the whole thing is a joke. both companies, working toward the single goal of making a profit, have done so much to advance gaming. which is why capitalism is such an awesome system. without it, there'd be no smart phones, no hd consoles, no cars, etc... and, as we move back towards the psychotic socialist model (like we're seeing in europe and the US), we'll see a massive slow down in technological progess.

dcbronco3850d ago (Edited 3850d ago )


Actually I think you just aren't looking at the whole business. You are one of the many people that believe the status quo is what makes the world go round. It's not. Big companies, with the help of banks and government, kill real competition and keep prices from falling as soon as they should.

Way too often big companies exploit small inventors because the little guy doesn't have capital to get an idea made of to pay off the lawyers to get a copyright. Watch a show like the Shark Tank and you see inventors get taken for 60 or 70% of their companies because of a lack of access.

That is exactly what Sony is doing in that situation. If Sony were to sign a developer contract for exclusivity and loans the company 5 million in return, Sony still stands to make millions. If that title sells 2 million copies, Sony has already made 4 million from the console license. Ten dollars per copy. And a big hit also sells consoles. The developer gets none of that profit.

Look at Microsoft's deal with Epic. MS paid for the 10 million advertising campaign. In return MS got $10 per copy. The original sold over 5 million units. That's 50 million there. It probably pushed a few hundred thousand consoles. The 360 was making a profit on the console itself after the first year(RRoD aside). Epic didn't get any of that(As far as we know). MS went on to sell over 17 million copies of the three versions of Gears. Epic claims they are around 10 million to make. So they both have made millions. And MS never had to own the IP.

I know it doesn't always work out that well. But it is risk reward. You have to make smart decisions. And you have to realize that sometimes you will win and when you do make sure you set some profits aside so that you can continue to take risk on new properties.

@ Thug

Never. You never know what something could be. Just because you don't have the vision to see it's potential. The biggest example ever has to be what you're probably posting your comments from. A PC. Xerox owned the GUI. But they allowed MS and Apple to take it because they didn't think much of it. Now Apple is the biggest company in the world(not because of GUI) and MS is one of them. Dumbest move in history.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 3850d ago
burgerman3852d ago

This was a pretty overrated game. This would fit the black character scheme though- Game and Watch for SSB. Limbo boy for PASBR.

360GamerFG3852d ago

They did the same thing with Ratchet and Clank, Resistance, Journey, Heavenly Sword and all their other 2nd party games that they have published.
It's not unlike them to want IP rights. I'm glad PlayDead held on to their guns and their IP!
At least releasing on xbla first means the devs get to keep rights to their hard work, as opposed to having SONY own all rights.
I love Limbo, can't wait for the follow up.