Sony Wanted ‘LittleBigPlanet’ Free to Play

21 Jul, 2011

Suddenly all these sackboy costumes are making sense. In a recent retrospective panel on the company, the founders of Media Molecule revealed that the original plan for LittleBigPlanet was to release the game with a free to play market strategy. Then-Sony executive Phil Harrison first approached the Media Molecule team with the concept, although it wasn’t made clear at what point in production the idea was brought forth, and why it didn’t come to pass.

“(Phil) said it should be free to play, it should have a new business model, it should be downloadable,” said Media Molecule’s tech director Alex Evans. “It should do DLC, it should do user-generated content. Phil was basically raising the bar on what we were pitching.”

“The challenge I gave the team was to make it possible for LBP to be a free to play downloadable service, not a product, and with a mechanism for monetizing user generated content that would allow the best creators to be to rewarded in some way for their for the innovation,” Harrison told GameIndustry.biz (registration required for full article).  “There were many good reasons why that didn’t happen with LBP, but clearly the seeds have certainly been sown and it will be fascinating to see how the console platforms take on that challenge in future.”

Would LittleBigPlanet F2P have released at a good time/on a good platform for the market strategy? Would any EGs have tried it out as such? Comment below!

About the author

Gavin Greene
Gavin Greene

Elder Geek installed GavinGreene.exe into its News editorial directory in May of 2009. The resulting mobile humanoid server has developed frighteningly realistic obsessions with RPGs, Adventure Games, and Industry Politics, and may be the harbinger of the inevitable singularity. Follow him on Twitter @ElderGeekGav

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5 Comments

  1. Keck282
    July 21, 2011

    That first paragraph is a mess. Pick one, did Media Molecule first come up with the idea with F2P, or did Sony approach them with the idea? I am a little confused.

    Other than that, the games might have seen more downloads, but it wouldn’t have done so well financially. The game appealed to children and families so selling the game at retailers and having TV adds was the smart decision.

    • Mats Paasche
      July 21, 2011

      Seems perfectly clear to me, “the founders of media molecule revealed”, doesn’t say anything about them coming up with the idea. Gavin is reporting on how they were talking about Phil approaching them with the idea. Journception! :P

      • Keck282
        July 21, 2011

        Ok, I see. It was three in the morning and I had a bit to drink after work. Personally the wording could have been better, by making one sentence saying that the Sony exc came up with the idea.

        • Seluhir
          July 22, 2011

          It practically does say that: “Sony executive Phil Harrison first approached the Media Molecule team with the concept”

          But since he’s not a Sony executive anymore, they had to put ‘Then-Sony’ in stead of just ‘Sony’ at the start of it which makesi t a bit confusing I suppose.

  2. Seluhir
    July 21, 2011

    This sort of thing has to be done slowly. They took the right approach and maybe LBP3 will be LBPFree in stead ;)