Sony Lost Limbo Over Hunger for IP Rights

Posted by | July 16, 2012

Limbo is an amazing, atmospheric puzzle game involving a boy’s journey through a dark landscape of terrible insects and abandoned factories. It earned critical acclaim, and turned out to be a decent game, too. When Limbo’s developers went looking for a publisher, they came to Sony. Unfortunately, Sony demanded all rights to the game and its intellectual property, that is, the IP rights, which would mean the people who created the game and its world would own none of their creation. The studio, Playdead, walked and went to Microsoft. Limbo has since sold over one-million copies. There might be a lesson in this. Edge Online has the story.

1 Comment so far
  1. Nelson Williams
    July 16, 2012 4:04 pm

    Game publishers don’t produce their own games, those are made by game studios. What publishers do is package games, market games, and get the games on retail shelves, be those shelves physical or digital. In return, they’re paid by the game studios out of revenues from the games.

    Seems to me, without the studios, the publishers have no income. So why are studios working for the publishers instead of publishers working for the studios? Why would a studio need to give up the rights to everything they’ve made just for the honor of paying a publisher to do a job?

    When I want to sell a house, I don’t give the house over to the real estate agent as tribute so he’ll work for me. Why are studios doing just that with publishers?

    What am I missing, here?

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