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LittleBigPlanet "would be a clear number one" any other time of year

Wed 19 Nov 2008 8:45am GMT / 3:45am EST / 12:45am PST
Games

Sony says the spate of high profile sequels are to blame for the Media Molecule title's chart position

Media Molecule

Media Molecule was founded by a small troupe of Lionhead veterans who, bolstered by their work together...

mediamolecule.com

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

Sony's head of public relations for the UK, David Wilson, has told GamesIndustry.biz that the company is pleased with LittleBigPlanet's retail performance and expects the title to perform better due to "word of mouth".

The Media Molecule title went on sale on November 5, and entered the UK's All Format chart in fourth place, the same week as the company's MotorStorm: Pacific Rift came in at 29. The following week both titles dropped in the charts to 19 and 35 respectively.

"We're really pleased with the initial reaction to LittleBigPlanet - it has been our highest scoring game ever I believe with a Metacritic score of 95 and a huge list of 10/10s or 100 per cent scores," explained Wilson.

"We are also pleased with its commercial performance. In other times of the year it would be a clear number one - so you have to put the chart in context. This is an incredibly volatile time of year and the chart reflects that - November 7 saw 47 titles released on that one day alone including many big hitters with Christmas number one aspirations. Look at the chart this week - the top four are all brand new entries."

The game is a flagship title for the PlayStation 3, with Sony claiming it will help sell console hardware.

"LittleBigPlanet has also sold well given that this is a brand new IP," he said in reference to the game's first week of sales which saw it coming in below three sequel titles, Microsoft's exclusive Gears of War 2, FIFA 09 and Fallout 3.

"Our industry is littered with examples of brand new innovative titles that have been lauded by the critics but have sold dismally," Wilson added. "But Sony is delighted and honoured to be working with hugely talented developers who can create brilliantly creative original games."

"LittleBigPlanet has broken this stereotype by not only being brilliant and original but also by selling really well on a global basis. LittleBigPlanet is breaking many preconceptions. There are some games that are hardcore experiences that the kudos lies in getting it first."

Wilson further explained how the title was built to benefit from long tail sales, in particular pointing out the title's ever growing resource of user-generated content.

"LittleBigPlanet is excellent on day one but even better as time goes by," he explained. "If you bought this game on day one, you'd play your 50 plus levels on the Blu-ray and dip into the 12,000 levels created by the beta testers. If you bought the game one week later you've got over 84,000 user created levels to play with. This game gets better and better as an experience and as a value proposition."

"It is also a game that will benefit enormously from word of mouth and from people trying it out with friends or in store - it drips fun and charm in equal measure. Also the bulk of our marketing including our six figure TV advertising campaign doesn't roll out until December, so we genuinely believe that Sackboy hasn't even hit his stride yet."

The title's route to market hasn't been smooth – the game was originally delayed for release due to complications with the soundtrack.

On release, many levels which infringe copyright have been deleted, highlighting the problems of allowing users to create and share their own content in the game.

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