Sony lost LIMBO to Microsoft (the game was out first on Xbox 360) because it wanted the rights to the IP entirely for itself, it has emerged.
IP, or intellectual property in this case, means the name, the brand, and it can mean the rights to do more with it without necessarily involving the developers down the line.
Who, here, declined Sony’s offer.
Speaking at Develop, SCE executive producer Pete Smith admitted that they were in talks to bring LIMBO exclusively to the PS3, talks which backfired, and meant Microsoft had the game to themselves for a whole year.
“I maybe shouldn’t say this, but we had issues when we were trying to sign Limbo because of the IP,” he said candidly and unexpectedly.
“There are obvious benefits to keeping it, but also to giving it up: you’re way more likely to get the deal,” he added. “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 [developers] don’t make a game, finish it then go to one of our rivals,” he commented. “We look at IP on a case by case basis. With a bit of common sense, you can find common ground.”
LIMBO went on to sell over a million on 360 by the end of 2011.