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The Gamasutra 20: 2008's Breakthrough Developers

August 13, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 14 of 21 Next

Gamasutra 20 'Breakthrough' Honoree:

Media Molecule

Studio overview

The developer was founded in 2006 by former employees of Lionhead Studios; its headquarters are located in the United Kingdom.

Key staff

Cofounder and artist Mark Healey was the main creative force behind Rag Doll Kung Fu, which he developed as an independent project while working at Lionhead Studios; the title was later published on Steam.

Also a veteran of Lionhead Studios, Alex Evans is a cofounder of Media Molecule and the company's technical director; he has been one of the primary public faces for LittleBigPlanet.

Resume highlights

While Media Molecule has not yet released a game, its first title, LittleBigPlanet, made a huge splash when Phil Harrison showed it off at the 2007 Game Developer Conference.

The do-it-yourself platformer -- which showcases a unique combination of graphic style, deep physics, accessible gameplay, user-created content, and social gameplay -- struck a chord with GDC attendees, and enthusiasm for the game has remained high since.

Originally, LittleBigPlanet was scheduled to be released in 2007 as a download on the PlayStation Network with a Blu-ray release to follow; however, a growth in scope pushed out the game's release date by a year, and it will now be a Blu-ray only release.

What's next

LittleBigPlanet, one of the PS3's most anticipated system exclusives yet, is due to hit stores this October.

Our take

"Not only did LittleBigPlanet whet appetites at GDC, but it earned critical acclaim -- especially that rare swath of positive opinon from the often-cynical blogging community, who spread the excitement to fan communities and vocal forums eager to.

But even more intriguing than this pulse of faith in a promising, unreleased title is the way LittleBigPlanet's core concepts stand to alter the industry forever.

LittleBigPlanet will be the largest-scale effort yet to bring content democritization to the console -- user-created maps and characters have found smashing success in more traditional console titles, but putting creative power directly into the players' hands is the concept at the core of Media Molecule's oeuvre.

No matter the end result, the lessons learned from LittleBigPlanet may set the mold for the way the industry handles large-scale user-generated content going forward."
- Leigh Alexander

Article Start Previous Page 14 of 21 Next

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