|Industry||Video game industry|
|Founded||7 December 2006|
Number of employees
Playdead ApS is a Danish independent video game developer based in Copenhagen. Game designers Arnt Jensen and Dino Christian Patti created the company in 2006 to develop Limbo, which released in 2010 to critical acclaim. After a year of Xbox 360 exclusivity, Playdead released ports of the game to PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Android.
During Xbox's E3 2014 conference, Playdead announced their second game, Inside, which was a spiritual successor to Limbo. It was released for Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and PlayStation 4 in 2016 to critical acclaim, and was hailed as a worthy successor of Limbo.
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 would 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 Andersen 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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