|Industry||Video game industry|
Number of employees
Playdead ApS is a Danish independent video game developer based in Copenhagen. The company was founded in 2006 by Arnt Jensen and Dino Christian Patti, and incorporated on 4 February 2008. The two created the company to develop Limbo, exclusively for Xbox Live Arcade, released on 2010 to critical acclaim. After a year of Xbox exclusivity, Playdead released ports of the game to PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Android, through digital storefronts and retail releases.
During Xbox's E3 2014 conference, Playdead announced their second game, Inside, which is a spiritual successor to Limbo. They released a demo at PAX Prime in August 2015, and in the same year, pushed back release from 2015 to mid-2016, allowing further refinement and improvements. It was released for Xbox One on 29 June 2016, and on 7 July 2016 for Microsoft Windows via Steam, with PlayStation 4 slated for 23 August. The game received overwhelming acclaim and has been hailed as a worthy successor of Limbo.
After Inside, Patti announced his departure and handed all shares to Jensen.
Arnt Jensen, a former IO Interactive developer, drew sketches in 2004 that led him to conceptualize Limbo. Having tried programming himself, he eventually sought for additional help through an art-based teaser for the game in 2006. This led to a meeting between Jensen and Dino Christian Patti. Patti soon realized the project was larger than the two of them, and together they founded the company, initially using their private funds and government grants before obtaining larger investments. Playdead eventually came to have eight employees during Limbo's development, with temporary increases of up to 16 through freelancers. Limbo's success led them to be able to reacquire the company back from investors, making Playdead completely independent.
Within the same year as Limbo's release, Playdead began working on Project 2, what woud later become Inside. The game was partially financed by the Danish Film Institute. Considered a spiritual successor to Limbo, Inside has many of the same themes, including being a 2.5D platform game using a primarily monochrome palette. After using a custom game engine for Limbo, Playdead used Unity to simplify development and a custom temporal anti-aliasing filter which was released in March 2016 under an open-source license. The game was officially announced at the E3 2014 with planned release in 2015, but was later pushed to mid-2016 for further refinement but had a demo at PAX Prime in August 2015. Martin Stig Anderson created the soundtrack again after Limbo, creating sound via bone conduction with a human skull. Inside was first released in June for Xbox One, and later on Microsoft Windows, and received more overwhelming praise than Limbo.
Shortly after the release of Inside, on 19 July 2016, co-founder and former CEO Dino Christian Patti opted to leave the company, selling his shares to Jensen. Patti felt that he was leaving Playdead "in a state where it can definitely manage itself", and stated "Following almost 10 incredible years building Playdead from an idea to two dents in the games industry, I'm leaving to seek new challenges."
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