Can you believe it’s been 15 years since the release of the original LittleBigPlanet on the PlayStation 3? Since October 2008, we’ve seen the launch of two new console generations, a man who sold the worst Stone Cold Stunner in history become President of the United States, and the whole world coming to a standstill thanks to that particularly nasty disease (as well as some incompetent governments more concerned with profiteering than saving lives). Shiny new gadgets and my disdain for the political world aside, we’re here today to talk about Media Molecule’s debut title and why I must have a new iteration!
But why am I so unreasonably demanding? Well, back when LittleBigPlanet first released, I was absolutely obsessed with it. I spent an unspeakable amount of time creating my own levels, and then, when I realised that creativity isn’t my strongest aspect, I delved into user-generated content. From insanely eccentric rollercoasters to a Dead Space reimagining, there was seemingly no end to fantastic content that my co-op partner and I would play through, often ending in fits of laughter!
From LittleBigPlanet came the second and third mainline iterations (although the third was developed by Sumo Digital) that, although many new user-created levels were still crafted with ever-increasing complexity, the series never seemed to generate as much buzz as the original. Media Molecule then went on to develop Dreams — no, I’m not forgetting about the incredibly underrated Tearaway, but I could waffle on about that for days — a game which, to me at least, was one of the most creative and fascinating titles I’d ever played. Dreams is a true marvel that really showcased what the developer could accomplish. To create a game that allowed so many players to create their own games within it (gameception™) to then be so criminally overlooked — thanks, crappy PlayStation marketing — is the biggest gaming tragedy since the failure of the Dreamcast.
However, with the sun now set on Dreams and its future, it’s time to turn our attention to what the developer is up to next. We know they have a new title in development, and this is where I say: “LittleBigPlanet 4, pretty please!” Or whatever you want to name it (just not LittleBigPl4net, I beg of you). I think after the unfortunate lack of attention that Dreams got, the charming, cutesy face of Sackboy is just the sort of mascot Sony should be throwing their marketing team at. Look at Super Mario Maker and its sequel as an example of videogames that not only allows gamers to get creative but had a good marketing campaign during the lead-up to, and long after, its release. Aside from the developer-created content that encompasses the story mode, there have been over 26 million user-created levels published since Super Mario Maker 2 released in 2019. That’s a lifetime supply of content to play!
It’s already been three years since the release of Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and with no create mode featured in that title, I need Media Molecule to take back the reigns of the franchise from Sumo Digital and show the world that they’re one of the most creative, unique developers around! Imagine the possibilities for one of the greatest puzzle platformers on current hardware. With Media Molecule’s inventive use of the DualShock and Vita features, imagine what they could do with the DualSense, or heck, even a Nintendo Switch!
Regardless of the franchise's future and whatever comes next for Media Molecule, Happy Birthday LittleBigPlanet!