Limbo was a surprise hit. Not everyone loved the challenging platform gameplay, but there's little denying that it was a memorable, distinctive game. The recent release of the game on PSN and PC coupled with its past success on Xbox Live Arcade has given Danish developer the confidence and financial means to strike out on its own without having to remain accountable to investors -- so that's exactly what it's done, reports Gamasutra. Playdead has bought itself back from its initial investors.

Limbo was funded initially out of Playdead founders Arnt Jensen and Dino Patti's own pockets, supplemented with help from the Danish government. Later, investors were brought in to allow the company to see its project through to fruition. While this solution can provide a developer with some much needed money, it leaves them accountable to the investors, who in some cases can exert financial and creative control over formerly independent studios.

Playdead's purchase of itself will enable the studio to produce games with a much greater degree of independence. And with the success of Limbo under its belt, it's unlikely they will have difficulty finding a publisher to help release their next game into the wild.

The studio's next project is already well underway and promises to be "a little more ambitious than Limbo," according to an interview Arnt Jensen conducted with Edge. The new title will be making use of the popular Unity 3D engine in an attempt to allow the developer to concentrate on creative content rather than the technicalities of building a proprietary engine, as it did for Limbo.

Don't expect to see the new game any time soon, though -- in the same Edge interview, Patti estimated that the "new production will take at least three and a half years."

This article originally appeared on as Limbo Developer Playdead Studios Buys Itself