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PlayDead, the Danish developer behind this year's black-and-white Expressionist XBLA masterpiece Limbo, is working on a new game. To say that this turn of events pleases me is like saying that the moon would be hard to carry up a ladder.
But what, pray tell, is this new game going to be? I'll level with you, I don't know. I'm going to find out as soon as I can, and I'm going to kill anyone I have to along the way in order to make that happen (dev staff excluded, as they need them for making games with), but right now I'm sort of guessing. I say "sort of", because with a little reading between the lines there are a few potential factoids to discover.
"I can't tell much, but I can tell you that if you liked Limbo, it'll definitely be for you", enthuses Dino Patti, CEO of Playdead, no doubt in a lovely accent that I could never hope to evoke in text. "The gameplay style you'll really like. You'll feel it's the same team who made it, but everything will be changed."
Patti, speaking to Joystiq, also detailed the studio's experience of releasing Limbo exclusively via Xbox Live Arcade, explaining that "it came out fine, because we got our money back, which was really cool". He also mentioned that Playdead wants to reach as big an audience as possible with its follow-up.
My translation: "We made our money back with Limbo, and being a first-time indie dev, we're really appreciative of all the support that working with a first-party like Microsoft affords. But now that we've made a name for ourselves, sweet baby Jesus, we're going multi-platform and making some real money!"
As well they should. More platforms means more players means more cash means more happy Danes means more games from happy Danes means more awe-inspired gurglings from British games journalists named Dave. And the PSN and PC have long-established cultures of being receptive to more experimental stuff. So do it!
So now that we've established that Playdead's new one is 100% undeniably going to be multi-format, let's see what else we can work out. It's been referenced as a new IP, and praise the heavens for that. A Limbo sequel would be a hideous idea. It's been referenced as something for Limbo fans, with a gameplay style they'll really like, which means it's staying 2D. And besides, I can't see Playdead perfecting the kind of nuanced 2D physics-based gameplay seen in Limbo and then just walking away without expanding upon it.
As for the "everything will be changed" bit, I reckon we're looking at a radial change of tone. This will be another very expressive, very artistic game, but going atmospherically dark again is going to see these guys typecast for life. And that's the last thing you want at the 'tricky second album' stage. But what do you predict? And what do you want? Let me know, Limbo fans, and we'll all geek out embarrassingly in the comments,
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