Sony subsumes Media Molecule

PlayStation maker acquires development studio behind Little Big Planet, brings Surrey, England, shop into stable of first-party studios.

When Media Molecule was first unveiled more than three years ago, the upstart development studio already had an exclusive relationship with Sony. Today the electronics giant formalized that exclusivity, announcing that it has acquired Media Molecule "to secure excellence in game development for current and future PlayStation platforms." Sony will incorporate the operation into its SCE Worldwide Studios. Financial details were not revealed.

Little Big Planet was a big big hit.

To date, Media Molecule has been synonymous with Little Big Planet, a platformer that allows players to customize their own Sackboy characters and levels. A commercial and critical success, the game sold well over a million copies worldwide and cleaned up at both the Interactive Achievement Awards and the Game Developers Choice Awards last year.

The origins of Media Molecule can be traced back to Microsoft-owned Lionhead Studios, and a PC game created by studio artist Mark Healy in his spare time, Rag Doll Kung Fu. Healy showed the game off to a rousing reception at the Game Developers Conference in 2005 and by the end of the year had left Lionhead in order to found a new indie studio with some of the developers who helped him on Rag Doll Kung Fu. When Healy revealed the studio as Media Molecule, he explained the goal was to "prove that a small (20 plus) and passionate team can deliver a world class, triple A, next-generation product."

Media Molecule acknowledged the acquisition on its official site in its own distinct fashion, proclaiming, "After a whirlwind romance, and one beautiful child together, we are immensely excited to announce our engagement to our long term best friend and life partner, Sony Computer Entertainment!"

It's unclear what Media Molecule is working on currently. While some had assumed a Little Big Planet sequel would be in the works, Media Molecule level designer Danny Leaver last year said that the studio would never want to do such a project for fear it would undermine the original game's existing community.

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107 comments
yixingtpot
yixingtpot

LBP controls are the worst of any platform game... they need to fix that. I create vehicles and it's like a game in itself just getting the little sack moron to jump into the vehicle. Search user icolossus on youtube and you'll see what i'm talking about. look for ultimate mech R-9 version 3.1

smoman5000
smoman5000

pretty good news for MM and sony, this could spawn some really original licenses

Bashers79
Bashers79

@jemoedr It could be worse, I could be a hypocrite. Also, what has the extra bits you need to buy for an Xbox, got to do with copying other firms ideas? Your a typical PS3 fanboy, and your comment was typically fanboyish and uneducated. But in response, I'd say if I was to replace my PS3 and Xbox today with the same amount peripherals included, they'd come out at a similar price. And before you go on a rant about how much more processing power the PS3 has, thus making it better, I own both and in a far better position to comment on the subject then you, and I can honestly say I wouldnt give up either of them.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@POT If Sony bought out Epic, Bioware, or other companies that made multi-plat games I would condem the action. if MS boought out creaters of Alen wake I would NOT say that it was MS trying to control the market.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

i'm glad to hear this news. MM is great studio, which shows in the work with LBP. =D

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

hopefully now that the Japanese own them, they will insist that Media Molecule give the game proper platform controls, not the horrible automatic jumping to random depths etc. And with Sack moron being the worst controlling platform characters they need to add a double jump to make up for his awful handling.

jemoedr
jemoedr

@Basher79 To stupid to give a decent comment? If you buy the parts you already get with the PS3, which you don't get with the Xbox, you'll be spending a lot more money then you'll spend with buying a PS3. And when owning a PS3, the chance stuff breaks in it are a lot smaller then getting that stupid RRoD or something similliar on that crappy xbox of yours.

geoff-uk123
geoff-uk123

A very good move. Hopefully this will mean more great PS3 exclusives from Media Molecule. :)

Gen007
Gen007

good move by sony because LBP has basically become a trademark game for the ps3. When people think ps3 they often think little big planet.

melty3219
melty3219

Nice move Sony LBP is great, too bad it get boring after a few hours.

heds777
heds777

Sounds like a good move by sony

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

LBP doesn't need a sequel, just maybe some more levels designed by Media Molecule available to download every now and again would be nice.

Bashers79
Bashers79

@jemoedr will you be buying the Nintendo Arc, I mean Wii Arc, I mean PS3 arc?

Bashers79
Bashers79

@Ravenlore_basic All those things you listed, that PS3 offers over the Xbox, are for marketing purposes to sell more units than the competitor, not because they want to be your friend (and also have nothing to do with the point i'm obviously failing to get across). I'm not attacking Sony, i'm attacking the rose tinted glasses wearing fanboys who think the sun shines out of Sony rear.

jemoedr
jemoedr

@Basher79 If there is ONE company that basically only copies, that defenitely will be M$

Bashers79
Bashers79

I love it, thumbed down for telling the truth. What does that tell me? it tells me your hypocrite fanboys. You're willing to bad mouth some companies for their under hand tactics (which is the right thing to do) but when it comes to the company who produces the consoles you so dearly love, you suddenly change your tune. As a PS3 owner I want more and more decent exclusives, but im really sick of the double standard hypocrisy that plagues the PS3 forums. For example MS make a console (original Xbox), Sony fanboys accuse MS of copying the Playstation, when in fact Sony tried to copy Nintendo several years earlier. MS release plans to produce some kind of Wii/eyetoy camera control system, Sony fanboys accuse MS of copying Nintendo and Sonys eyetoy, Sony makes a hand held Wii style control almost identical to Nintendos and the fanboys cheer for Sonys new innovation. Come on people wake up!

zMd113
zMd113

very good acquisition, i'm already looking forward to their next game. by the way, we need Ratchet & Clank costumes in LBP.

P0T
P0T

Ravenlore, you clearly sound like a fanboy when you justify one console company buying companies up but hate on another console company doing the same thing. They both buy up companies! They are both out to make profit any way they can.

Lunastra78
Lunastra78

As much as I love LBP, I hope Media Molecule gets a chance to make something completely different for their next game. LBP is already limitless so a sequel would be pointless, imo. And I'm sure those creative heads at MM can cook up a new game of similar awesomeness!

felixdawg
felixdawg

Wow, guess I am kind of surprised they are not making modnation as from the screenshots it looked like a media molecule game. Hope modnation turns out as good as LBP did. I wonder if Media Molecule is working on a game for the Arc, they certainly seem innovative enough.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@bASHER79 1, MS charges to play games on line and makes a huge profit from it (google it) Its free from Sony 2. MS uses propriatarie inputs and is being suied over it, while Sony is using open standard inputs 3.Sony offers more for free.. IE wi-fi, Blue-tooth, BluRay, swapable HDD, and web browser... for the same price 4.Sony's aquasations have been with companies that have history and made excllusive game already for PS3. They were not a 3rd party devloper that Sony wanted to keep away from the compatition. As of yet there has not been a group of people to leave like have left MS. 5. It has been MS and not Sony that have bought out games that would have gone Multi-plat to keep from going to other platforms. MS mode of operation is to take away and proft others be damed. ---You can say that it is not Sonys intent to be an advocate for videogames in general but they sure do make choices that adds to the videogame market. It could be that Sony does not know how to rip us off as well as MS but after soo many years and actions showing how they operat I think Sony is the better choice to better the video game market.

Terrencec06
Terrencec06

Hope to see many great games from them

Wakasenshi
Wakasenshi

There will be a LBP2 but it will be on PS4...

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@Bashers79 Well that's my point, their #1 priority is definitely income, but it just so happens that the way they do business (in regard to things I care at all about, i.e. developer relations) are admirable. In regard to their dealings with direct competitors however, I don't care too much as long as it's within the scope of the law.

Bashers79
Bashers79

@parrot_of_adun In the beginning Sony designed and supplied Nintendo with sound chips for the SNES but then went on to try and create their own CD games system based on SNES technology, it never made it to the market because of commercial difficulties with Nintento. This is a pretty well known fact and has been freely admitted by SCEE's Executive Vice President of Development Phil Harrison. Call me cynical, but I read into this admission, that Sony saw Nintendos success and used their relationship to copy Nintendos technology in order to slice themselves a piece of the pie. Hardly the actions of a corporation worth respecting. Yes, I agree Sony use far more admirable tactics than MS for wooing the Dev's. MS use money, Sony listen to what the Dev's want, but ultimately it's a means to the same end, that end being to squeeze us gamers for our hard earned cash.

MrSmarties
MrSmarties

Shouldn't the sack puppets or w.e be psn's avatars. Imagine a sack boy or girl beside ur friends name in your list who sort of looks like you, it will be awesome.

AzelKosMos
AzelKosMos

Little Big Planet was an amazing game so this doesn't surprise me one bit. Correct move by Sony imo, though i sure don't know anything about business and am not going to pretend otherwise XD

rockstar_88
rockstar_88

As a fan of the 360, I have this to say: Sony, you lucky b*****. LittleBigPlanet was the very reason I bought a PS3.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I hope this turns out to be a good thing

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@Bashers79 But Sony goes about it's agenda very carefully. Ever since they've had anything to do with videogames, they've treated their assets in a very specific manner and it's worked since the mid-90's (in a way no other large publisher has been able to make it). They DO care about their money, very much so, but they seem to understand the benefit of building a rock-solid foundation of dev teams that trust them not to screw them over. They may not always be #1 as a result, but they'll probably be around (and still respected) long after the likes of EA have faded. And that makes good business sense.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

To be honest, I thought this had already happened... But it's good news really, Sony's never going to pull a (or any number of dirty moves EA or Activision pioneered).

Bashers79
Bashers79

@PandaBear86 and yet if MS did something like this you'd accuse them of trying to monopolise the market. I'm a Sony customer, I'm guessing, the same as you, but, i'm sorry Sony aren't looking out for the interests of the little guy here, they're looking out for number 1. My guess is Sony took one look at the success of LittleBigPlanet and were worried they'd lose any future exclusive to its rivals. You may hate me and thumb me down for saying it, but Sony is a money fuelled corporation just like Microsoft and Nintendo and any other company out there. Don't be naive by thinking they're any different.

PandaBear86
PandaBear86

Normally, people feel nervous whenever a massive coproration acquires a small, independant studio. But in this instance, people are thrilled by Sony buying Media Molecule. Just goes to show a corporate empire like Sony can still have a heart like a small company! No wonder so many people have been supporting them since the PS1 days. Rock on Sony! :)

kws1065
kws1065

(unlike timed exclusive) Solid exclusive studio, one more.

BrianB0422
BrianB0422

Nice! A -30 rating on my last comment!!!! Seth Luisi still sucks bawlz... Look what he did to Socom you noobs.

kuroshiro99
kuroshiro99

@ tmorri603 > dude. M$ is not in the business of going after studio rights .. they are in the business of buying rights to an IP thats sold 3 mil units or more after being published by them. As long as they have that.. they can give it to any developer who wants to take a stab at those IPs.. Ive got to hand it to them.. its smart business practices really.. its furthering the industry in its own cut throat manner. and milking those cash cows.. which i dont really appreciate.. because if these business practices get any more popular.. im afraid i might see some heavy hitting uber hyped crap titles throughout the year..

jackdaniel594
jackdaniel594

hopefully they get United Front Games too.. for those who dont know, they make modnation racers and the next true crime game.. apparently united front and media molecule have a 'great relationship', so maybe.. i also agree if infinity ward splits form activision, buy them.. even somehow buy the COD series off activision after that and let infinity ward develop new COD games for PS3..

CoreoVII
CoreoVII

Only a matter of time. Just like the PS2 the PS3 will be on top.

GodofEmpires
GodofEmpires

With Infinity Ward most likely splitting with Activision, Sony should buy them.

Deity_Dude
Deity_Dude

Good play Sony. You're rackin' up the fans!

lbptoady
lbptoady

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Waranabatokwa
Waranabatokwa

some people are complaining that Sony should leave Media Molecule alone for them to be able to create good games.. as far as i can remember, some of the best games were created by sony's first party developers..

thrasher510
thrasher510

yay, but i want games, not necessarily littlebigplanet 2 but something else creative like modnation racers and littlebigplanet.

ahpuck
ahpuck

this is good news, indeed.