Two Million Sales to Freedom

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Excellent, kick the feet out from under the publishers to see them suffer!

But really, independence is great and should be encouraged, publishers lack the drive of developers and often refuse to take risks.

Great article, gave me even more respect for Playdead. However, did anyone else keep thinking "Adam Jensen founded Playdead?" while reading this piece?

NuclearShadow:
I can't help but feel sorry for them despite them seeing this as a sort of success. What happens when their next project has the same fate and the next? The investors will make profits off of them and they will just walk away broke every time. Even worse is if they ever have a flop game in terms of sales this will likely doom them.

I am totally for art before profits but I never want to see anyone who made such a beautiful game to ever struggle to put food on the table.

veloper:
In their shoes I would have sold the Limbo IP for the big bucks and then create a new IP for myself.
True creativity doesn't like sequels anyway.

Failing that, I would have gone with the investors and sold the company, then resign and form a new company. Again you lose one single IP and you gain the money to be truly free to create what you want. Limbo was cute, but I have no interest in a Limbo 2.
A game company name is only worth the IP it owns. The only true value here is in the skilled developers and they are not owned. So sell.

This is not always possible. If you sold to a publisher you have to be aware of all their demands this could include X years working for them or even a no compete clause meaning they couldn't make anything else for a long period of time.

I doubt someone could slip a clause like that in a hostile takeover, but there may always be complications to watch out for.
I'm asuming here that the 3rd party investors together had the majority of shares and they intented to sell them, to a big publisher. This doesn't change your contract of employment. Ofcourse they would have to offer to sell theirs to the other shareholders(the founders in this case) first, because it's not a publicly traded company, which is what the investors did.

It doesn't matter in any case. I just don't see how this conclusion is in any way more laudable than just picking the fruits of your labour and moving on.
The scorn would only fall on the publisher who tries to make a quick buck out of the rushed sequel.

BAMF's, pure BAMF's! Good on them, I firmly stand behind what they did, and I'd have probably done the exact same thing were I in their position (or at least I'd have tried it). Oh and this quote:

"I've never liked the idea of business people being in control of creative decisions, and I firmly believe that money and creativity shouldn't be mixed. Business people always want to measure progress but the fact is creativity cannot be measured."

Kicks ass!

joonsk:
I always wonderded what made games so expensive to make. their are tons of free engines that you can use, and everything else can be made without money, I think.

The tools to make said game (photoshop, 3dsmax etc) cost money, alot, and no you can't get away with using illegal copies as its when your making money that you'll be targeted for pirating these things.

Also, while in a perfect world they'd be able to devote their lives to making their beloved games, in reality while their making the game they need money to pay bills, eat, drive cars etc, you know stuff to live. So either they need other jobs to cover the costs (and thus take time away from developing the game) or find financial backing to cover the costs hoping the game will pay itself off, which in this case it has.

Good for them

NpPro93:
Great article, gave me even more respect for Playdead. However, did anyone else keep thinking "Adam Jensen founded Playdead?" while reading this piece?

Thanks!

(Also ... I was thinking that the whole time I was doing the interview.)

Honestly, no matter how many times I read or hear Arnt's name, my mind either goes to Adam Jensen or Susan Arendt.

If only there had been some investor to make them take that damn mosquito out of the game, I could have finished playing it.

joonsk:
I always wonderded what made games so expensive to make. their are tons of free engines that you can use, and everything else can be made without money, I think.

It's actually pretty simple. When people do work for something, they expect to be paid. And if you have no money to pay them with, they tend not to do work. And games aren't fast to make. They take months, even years of solid work to complete, but the game doesn't actually make any money until it's finished and on sale (and even then, only makes money if it actually sells), so in the meantime, you still need to have some money to be paying people with until the game is finished, and hope you make enough money back from the game's sale to make up for this loss, and still have enough money left over to fund your next game.

"I've never liked the idea of business people being in control of creative decisions, and I firmly believe that money and creativity shouldn't be mixed. Business people always want to measure progress but the fact is creativity cannot be measured."

This line just pissed me off so much. First. Creativity is a business (quite possibly the most competitive business their is) and it always will be (doesn't matter how creative you are if you do not make money). Second. Those business people you don't seem to like, yeah, they are your investors and if you just disregard them then you are biting the hand that is feeding you and you risk hurting any future products. Third. Video game making will always be a business first and foremost, if you can not accept that then you are are more likely to make some fatal mistake then some other developer.

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