In March of this year Sony acquired independent developer and LittleBigPlanet creator, Media Molecule, as a completely first-party studio. The purchase was praised by most analysts and media critics alike as Sony has often done everything in its power to ensure a strong first-party lineup for its consumer.
Now that we’re three months down the line, does Media Molecule still enjoy the freedoms it once did as an independent developer? We’d say so. Speaking exclusively to Play, Media Molecule creative director Mark Healey, has expressed his delight in the team’s ability to still feel like an independent developer while remaining an exclusively owned developer of the gaming industry giant, Sony.
“We’ve had a really good relationship with them really, which is why we decided to marry them,”Healey explained to us. “It’s very hands off where it needs to be and they let us get on. And there’s stuff that we’re not so good at that I would find really annoying they take the weight off there and do it.”
“The whole acquisition thing we didn’t have that worry that we might have had with a lot of other publishers,” he said. “I’ve been in the industry quite a long time really and I’ve gone through various acquisitions with other companies and seen it go not so well in terms of morale and how they integrate. But we did our research and went to speak to various Sony studios and it was all cool.”
“It still feels like we’re an independent company, which is the bottom line,” he insisted. “That was the idea really.”
This type of relationship is why Sony has had so much success in the past in partnering with several third-party studios that eventually turned into first-party developers. Sony’s ability and desire to allow creativity and freedom within its first-party offerings is something no other console manufacturer truly pushes. While Nintendo and Microsoft continue to push out rehashes and sequels of already popular first-party games, Sony strives to produce new independent properties that the industry has yet to see before.