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Limbo on Vita is a straight port, dev felt touch controls wouldn't "suit" the game

Playdead doesn't expect you to buy it again.

The Vita version of superb downloadable adventure Limbo is a straight port and does not feature touch controls, the boss of developer Playdead told Eurogamer today at the Game Developers Conference.

Limbo for PS Vita was announced last night at a Sony event for indie games. It is being made by LittleBigPlanet Vita developer Double Eleven in collaboration with Danish indie and original creator Playdead.

CEO Dino Patti said Playdead didn't want to make use of the Vita's front and rear touch controls because they wouldn't have suited the game.

In fact, if touch controls had been incorporated, Playdead might as well have made a new game, Patti said.

"[The Vita port] cost us more than the other ports because we put a lot of effort into it," Patti said.

"When we ported to PC we put a lot of effort into making the keyboard work. It wasn't straight. It took months and months of testing and trying out. We did a lot of QA around keyboard controls.

"It's the same with the Vita. It needs to be perfect for that screen. There are some things that are different for when the screen is smaller we do to make it work better.

"We're not using any touch. We didn't feel it would suit Limbo at all. It would feel like a patch if we did it. And we really like the original experience. The Vita allows you to have the original experience.

"It would require a lot from us to rethink the game. We would probably make another game if we were going to do that. Vita was a no-brainer because we could keep the same experience. It has all of these great features, but we didn't have to use them."

Patti said the Vita version of Limbo, which is up to around 2.5 million sales now, came about as the result of long-term discussions with Sony. "We're always interested in expanding our market," he said. "It's been really successful for us before. Whenever we do a new port, we use a lot of time and effort on it. At one point it always seems like we spend too much time on a port. But when you launch it you will always break even pretty fast. We're happy about that.

"It keeps us running the company and doing more games."

Patti was delighted Middlesbrough-based studio Double Eleven was chosen to do the "heavy lifting" on development. "They're pretty talented. We're happy about that. We don't believe in outsourcing, because you normally take the quality down. But in this instance they really proved themselves. Right now we're talking to them about other stuff because we think they're a really talented team. They understand us.

"We work really close together with them. They work with our sound designer to make the audio work correctly. They're definitely doing the heavy lifting on this, but it's not hands-off or anything."

Because Limbo on Vita is a straight port, Playdead doesn't expect those who have already bought it to buy it again. Instead, the Vita version is mainly for newcomers.

"This is not primarily for people who have played it before because they won't get anything new," Patti said. "I tend to buy the IPs I love in several places. But this is primarily for a new market. We don't expect people to buy it again. We don't mind people doing it either!

"Sometimes I have a game I haven't completed, and it comes on a new platform, and I think I might complete it on that platform. I maybe play it even longer, perhaps to the end. I did that with SpaceChem. I bought it on Steam. But I felt it was perfect for being on a bus, so I ditched those save games and bought it on the iPad."

Limbo is due out on Vita as a PlayStation Network download at some point this year. Will it also come to tablets, such as the iPad?

"iPad? Is that the Apple tablet?"

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About the Author
Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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