Proprietary engine 'too specialised as our ambitions grow'

Unity powers Limbo studio’s next project

Playdead, the Denmark developer that built the digital trailblazer Limbo, has confirmed it is building its next project with the Unity engine.

The Copenhagen studio said it wants to focus on building its next game without the preoccupation of revising its own private engine; tech built specifically for the monochrome world of Limbo.

"It was just too much work," Playdead co-founder Arnt Jensen told Edge.

"It’s like having a double product, doing both engine and game. And our next project is a little more ambitious than Limbo so there are a lot of things we don’t want to make from the beginning."

Fellow co-founder Dino Patti said Limbo’s engine “only works when it’s black and white”.

“It can’t render colour any more," he said.

The move to the Unity engine is a substantial deal for the engine’s eponymous owners.

Unity already has been downloaded more than 500,000 times (unique instillation numbers unknown), but one key criticism of the vendor is that its tech has has yet to power a best-seller. Doing so is often considered a milestone in proving the viability of game-related technologies and services.

With the gravitas of Playdead, and the craftsmanship displayed with Limbo, Unity may have found one of its first digital blockbusters.

But the wait will be long. Dino Patti said the new game “will take at least three and a half years”, suggesting its release date won’t come before 2013.

"A good game takes time," he said.

Building the project with Unity also opens it to a wide range of end platforms, from iOS to PSN, XBLA, Wii, PC, Wii U and Android.

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