Playdead Confirms Limbo's PSN Deal Crumbled Over Ownership Concerns

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#51 Posted by kpaadet (410 posts) -

@VargasPrime said:

@kpaadet said:

@Corvak: Since like you said nobody releases sales numbers (unless they are really good), nobody can tell if Steam is a better place for indies to sell their games. Super Meatboy is only one developer among many.

Tim Schafers words sounds really hollow to me, when he apparently had no problem giving up the Iron Brigade/Trenched IP in order to be part of the Summer of Acade.

How do you know Schafer "had no problem" giving up the Trenched IP? Just because that's the way it happened doesn't mean his words make any less sense. The fact that they've managed to get Psychonauts, Costume Quest, and Stacking all ported to other platforms, including PC, makes Trenched look like the exception to his rule, which would indicate that maybe that was a last-ditch effort to get it published. Or maybe they needed the money from MS in order to keep making games.

Also, I would take the fact that Steam has grown into such a huge distribution network, with an immense catalog and constant sales, to mean that they're doing pretty well. Sometimes you don't need numbers to know when something is working.

Sure I dont know if Schafer had a problem giving up that IP, but was XBLA the only place it could be released? No, Double Fine choose that platform, the fact that their previous games were their own only makes the Trenched situation more odd. They managed to hold on to their other games, so why not this one? I'm guessing because MS offered them a spot in the Summer of Arcade, and they saw $$ instead of "developer integrity".

"Or maybe they needed the money from MS in order to keep making games."

Its easy to have principles like that when you have money, so the excuse of them needed money sounds like hypocrisy to me.

#52 Posted by Brad (3009 posts) -

@kpaadet said:

@Corvak: Since like you said nobody releases sales numbers (unless they are really good), nobody can tell if Steam is a better place for indies to sell their games. Super Meatboy is only one developer among many.

Tim Schafers words sounds really hollow to me, when he apparently had no problem giving up the Iron Brigade/Trenched IP in order to be part of the Summer of Acade.

Trenched wasn't part of Summer of Arcade.

However, it was a brand new property built around an unproven mishmash of genres -- the sort of thing most publishers wouldn't want to take a risk on without demanding a lot in return. Giving over the IP rights may have been the best deal they could get to actually ensure the game got made. You have no way of knowing Schafer had "no problem" with that arrangement.

Staff
#53 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Why is XBLA such a popular place to release indie games? Wasn't Limbo 100% more profitable in its first week on Steam than its total lifetime up to that point on XBLA? (or am I thinking of another game?)

#54 Posted by chilibean_3 (1639 posts) -

@Brad said:

@kpaadet said:

@Corvak: Since like you said nobody releases sales numbers (unless they are really good), nobody can tell if Steam is a better place for indies to sell their games. Super Meatboy is only one developer among many.

Tim Schafers words sounds really hollow to me, when he apparently had no problem giving up the Iron Brigade/Trenched IP in order to be part of the Summer of Acade.

Trenched wasn't part of Summer of Arcade.

However, it was a brand new property built around an unproven mishmash of genres -- the sort of thing most publishers wouldn't want to take a risk on without demanding a lot in return. Giving over the IP rights may have been the best deal they could get to actually ensure the game got made. You have no way of knowing Schafer had "no problem" with that arrangement.

He mentioned it as being a mistake to give away that IP on his twitter to someone else. He even said they "had us over a barrel" on that one.

#55 Edited by kpaadet (410 posts) -

@Brad said:

@kpaadet said:

@Corvak: Since like you said nobody releases sales numbers (unless they are really good), nobody can tell if Steam is a better place for indies to sell their games. Super Meatboy is only one developer among many.

Tim Schafers words sounds really hollow to me, when he apparently had no problem giving up the Iron Brigade/Trenched IP in order to be part of the Summer of Acade.

Trenched wasn't part of Summer of Arcade.

However, it was a brand new property built around an unproven mishmash of genres -- the sort of thing most publishers wouldn't want to take a risk on without demanding a lot in return. Giving over the IP rights may have been the best deal they could get to actually ensure the game got made. You have no way of knowing Schafer had "no problem" with that arrangement.

You are totally right about the Summer of Arcade, I could have sworn it was part of that. But I still think Schafer is very close to sounding like a hypocrite, if Trenched was "the sort of thing most publishers wouldn't want to take a risk on without demanding a lot in return." then what was Limbo? And is Trenched really that unproven? Its a 3rd person shooter with tower defence mechanics.

#56 Posted by Brad (3009 posts) -

@kpaadet said:

@Brad said:

@kpaadet said:

@Corvak: Since like you said nobody releases sales numbers (unless they are really good), nobody can tell if Steam is a better place for indies to sell their games. Super Meatboy is only one developer among many.

Tim Schafers words sounds really hollow to me, when he apparently had no problem giving up the Iron Brigade/Trenched IP in order to be part of the Summer of Acade.

Trenched wasn't part of Summer of Arcade.

However, it was a brand new property built around an unproven mishmash of genres -- the sort of thing most publishers wouldn't want to take a risk on without demanding a lot in return. Giving over the IP rights may have been the best deal they could get to actually ensure the game got made. You have no way of knowing Schafer had "no problem" with that arrangement.

You are totally right about the Summer of Arcade, I could have sworn it was part of that. But I still think Schafer is very close to sounding like a hypocrite, if Trenched was "the sort of thing most publishers wouldn't want to take a risk on without demanding a lot in return." then was was Limbo? And is Trenched really that unproven? Its a 3rd person shooter with tower defence mechanics.

Limbo had a ton of buzz coming out of the IGF that year, in addition to looking like an excellent game, and it was already largely finished. Not a big surprise Playdead could secure a favorable deal with that kind of momentum behind them.

Remember that Double Fine was coming off of Brutal Legend, which is (sadly) pretty much this generation's poster child for big, splashy, expensive new IP that failed commercially and cost the publisher a boatload of money. It's likewise not surprising DF would have a tough time getting support for their subsequent projects after that incident. Trenched wasn't totally outlandish from a design perspective, but nothing about "vaguely humorous WWII mech action with murderous televisions" screams instant blockbuster. The science of predicting which new game properties will hit and which ones will miss is anything but scientific, so it's pretty obvious why Microsoft would want to hedge its bets on that one.

Staff
#57 Posted by m0rdr3d (474 posts) -

I like the idea of developers protecting the integrity of their IP by retaining ownership. However, I would've liked a little more Limbo if done the right way. It's a neato game, but very short and there's much more that could be done with it.

Oh well. At least these guys are still out there making games.

#58 Posted by radion_null (160 posts) -

Hey Patrick.. Do a story on the Pub fund thingy on PSN. How does that work and how have developers reacted to it?

#59 Edited by Dan_CiTi (3303 posts) -

@Brad: Pretty much, Double Fine catch really catch a break. I hope this new adventure game is golden and solidifies them financially. They have had a string of good games, (last one everyone really loved was Psychonauts though) but no great ones that threw it out of the park. Brutal Legend should have been that game but just was not. I just want all of them to smile and make a masterpiece and for them to swim in money and feed their families and buy them fancy gifts.

#60 Posted by Corvak (1069 posts) -

@Brad: It's also possible Trenched is the reason they speak out against this sort of thing. And yeah, coming off of Brutal Legend (Which I enjoyed) They were between a rock and a hard place, and giving up that IP may have been necessary to remain a company.

#61 Posted by DiGiTaL_SiN (1789 posts) -

Their next game is going to be a rhythm platformer, you heared it here first!

#62 Posted by SpartanHoplite (384 posts) -

@probablytuna said:

Well, at least it was released on PSN eventually. I also agree that developers should have control over their IP.

agreed.

and cant wait for their next game. hope its as fun as LIMBO.

#63 Posted by AssInAss (2645 posts) -
@Goldanas
Don't forget even if you don't like sequels, there's the problem of reviving an old franchise and putting it on different services like Steam. You can't access very old games whose IP are still in a big publisher's hands. No more playing classic PC games unless you want to pay $100 on eBay.

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