This is quite the sticky situation
One month after the release of critically-acclaimed Inside, Playdead co-founder Dino Patti left Playdead. The departure was framed as a career move, that Patti was off to seek new challenges after leaving his mark with Limbo and Inside. New details have surfaced that indicate everything was far more complicated than that.
Danish newspaper Borsen published a story (that was translated by a NeoGAF user) about the power struggle between Playdead co-founders Arnt Jensen and Patti. Apparently, the two had been at odds since 2015 when they quarreled over who owned the company’s games. Eventually, Jensen and Patti refused to speak directly to one another and would only communicate through their respective legal teams.
In November 2015, Jensen released a statement that effectively stated he wanted to find other avenues to creatively express himself. Patti took this as an explicit resignation from Playdead, so he removed Jensen from the company’s business registration with the country of Denmark. Jensen’s attorneys clarified that he had resigned from his position as creative director, not as a co-founder who still owned part of Playdead.
Eventually, things got so heated that the Danish Business Authority intervened. Patti was forced out and paid 50 million Danish krones (approximately $7.2 million) for his 49 percent stake in Playdead. Jensen won’t offer comment; Patti says he’s hurt as if he broke up with a significant other.
It’s also said that Patti doesn’t feel he was compensated enough for what the studio is actually worth and that he’d willingly give it back for his original stake. A look at his Twitter feed corroborates this sentiment. Despite not being financially vested anymore, Patti routinely shares praise for Inside. It’s apparent that he’s proud of what the studio created, even if he isn’t a part of it moving forward.