Inside could have become a PlayStation timed exclusive, and Playdead was close to signing with Sony. However, it turned out that it was Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer who personally convinced the studio to choose Xbox.
Earlier this month, Playdead co-founder Dino Patti opened about the studio’s partnership with Microsoft on the Arkaden podcast (via Gamereactor).
He recalled that Playdead was only willing to make Inside a timed exclusive of any platform if it was a short-term deal. And Sony approached the team with an offer that suited them. “We were presented with a good deal, and we kind of, you know, shook hands and said, ‘Okay, this sounds great, we could do this,'” Patti said.
However, he then received a phone call from none other than Phil Spencer. It appears that Xbox really wanted to make a deal with Playdead, which at the time had already made a name for itself in the indie scene with Limbo.
Here is an excerpt from the phone conversation, according to Patti:
Spencer: “Listen, we need to make a deal with you, what do you want?”
Patti: “Well, we’ve actually made an okay deal…”
Spencer: “No, no, no, no, you don’t understand what I’m saying. I can make anything happen, what do you want?”
Patti didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, but as a result, Microsoft announced Inside at E3 2014. The company was also responsible for all the marketing activities, promoting the game online and at various trade shows.
Inside came out as an Xbox One exclusive on June 29, 2016. Shortly after, it was released on PC, with the PlayStation 4 version launching on August 23. So it was a short-term deal, which is exactly what Playdead wanted.
Playdead is a Danish indie studio founded in 2006 by Arnt Jensen and Dino Patti. The team only released two games, Limbo and Inside, before Patti left the company in July 2016. He then founded new studio Jumpship, which released its debut title, Somerville, last year.
As for Playdead, the studio is now working on its third project, which will be published by Epic Games. Described as a third-person 3D game, most details about it remain undisclosed.