Harrison: "Sony took absolutely the right decision" to recall LBP
Former Worldwide Studios boss confident that "stumble" won't affect game's success "one iota"
Atari president Phil Harrison has told GamesIndustry.biz that he believes Sony took "absolutely the right decision" in recalling LittleBigPlanet over the controversial references made to the Qur'an.
Harrison, who was previously president of Sony Worldwide Studios before taking on his current role - and who championed the title from the very beginning - also thinks that the delay won't affect the game's ultimate success "one iota".
Answering a question as to whether the game is worth the wait, he didn't hesitate: "Of course," he said. "I can only base my answer on my own experience of playing the beta, which was knowing an awful lot about how that product was created, and the passion and energy that the team at Media Molecule and Sony put into it," he said.
"I downloaded the beta, I sat down to play it, and it's pretty rare that within five seconds of starting a game you fall in love with a bit of software. And it was just the most fantastic experience, the whole intro sequence, where you've got the narration and the video of the dreams coming off the people in real life, going up to form the planet - I just thought that was absolutely inspired.
"And that was done after I left Sony, so all credit to Media Molecule for that, or whoever was responsible. And then you get into the game and it was just smiles all the way.
"So I think people are going to be blown away by the game, and while I'm obviously sad for the stumble, I don't think it will affect the long term success of the game one iota."
Speaking on the eve of his keynote at the Unite 08 event in Copenhagen, Harrison added that the decision to pull the game wasn't one that would have been taken lightly, but one that was fundamental to the core mission of the game.
"I wasn't privy to all of the discussions and debate that went on within Sony, but I know they would have thought very deeply about it, and at the highest level of the company," he explained. "And on reflection I think it was absolutely the right thing to do, because LittleBigPlanet set out from day one to be a game for the entire world - and if there was anything that accidentally detracted from that vision and made the game not fun for the entire world, then the game would have fundamentally failed in its mission.
"So I think Sony took absolutely the right decision - painful though it was, and frustrating though it might be for gamers who were looking forward to it. It only seems to have heightened the anticipation, so I think it'll end up being a win, and full credit to Media Molecule for turning around a fix as quickly as they did."
GamesIndustry.biz will have more from the Unite 08 conference and Phil Harrison's keynote speech later.