Limbo was nearly a PSN exclusive

Sony wanted the IP, Playdead wouldn't give it up.

Haunting XBLA hit Limbo was almost a PSN exclusive, but Sony's request for the rights to the IP caused developer Playdead to sign on with Microsoft instead.

"We had issues when we were trying to sign Limbo because of the IP," said Sony Computer Entertainment executive producer Pete Smith, speaking at last week's Develop Conference in Brighton, as reported by Edge.

Sony now regrets passing on the game - much as it did with Demon's Souls - because Limbo found huge commercial success, selling 300,000 copies in its first month on XBLA July 2010, and over a million by last November. It still sold well on PSN - where it was the highest-selling third-party PSN game of 2011, but there's no doubt that it would have sold much better on Sony's platform had it arrived there first.

Smith still considers IP ownership vastly important, but cautioned that it can make developers skittish. "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 [devs] don't make a game, finish it then go to one of our rivals. We look at IP on a case by case basis. With a bit of common sense, you can find common ground."

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