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Media Molecule's Alex Evans

The co-founder of the LittleBigPlanet developer updates us on what the team is working on
GamesIndustry.biz It's less an issue for Media Molecule, and more of an issue for the industry as a whole, but ultimately there's so much potential revenue swilling about at Christmas that everybody wants a piece of it.
Alex Evans

Yes, and with the high barrier to entry as well - USD 40, or 60, or whatever it is - you have to fall at those times. I think that's one of the things that's interesting about digital distribution - yes it changes the distribution and marketing model, but I think it also lowers the costs, and that actually ends up spreading when people are willing to drop the cash.

I'm not talking about hardcore gamers, but those in the middle ground. I have a feeling that it's not quite the same in the music business - people buy CDs all year round. But I'm really interested to see that as prices come down, and you can get stuff online, if you'll see more forgiving release schedules when stuff can come out and break even.

GamesIndustry.biz Are you talking about prices coming down for LBP, or generally?
Alex Evans

Generally.

GamesIndustry.biz From a consumer's point of view, if digital distribution cuts out retail costs there's an expectation that some savings are passed on to the consumer - although publishers seem to go pretty quiet on that point when asked.
Alex Evans

Well, that's the thing - and this isn't me fobbing you off - but Sony sets the price point on the online side of things, so I don't know what that's going to be. But I do know that I really want us to see different online routes into LBP.

That's no great news, but what I think is cool is that LBP can afford to experiment a bit more - for example, we're getting on for 2 million levels that have been published now. If you look at online distribution for LBP, when the sequel comes along, what do we do with all that content? I think we can give consumers lots of stuff that you couldn't in a traditional game. We can give them backwards compatibility with those levels, and then when you decide on how you're going to sell that to them... all I'm saying is that we've got loads of options open to us, and we can pick really late. We can make them in a year's time, or whenever we want to ship - and that's really useful for a developer, you can make a fine grain decision about what the price point is, or how you dice it.

Sony might have a standard price for a triple-A game on PSN, for example, but we've got extra options that they don't have. We could do a version with every level available on subscription, or something like that. I don't know what we'll do, but it's really exciting that we can make those choices, and make them late in the day.

GamesIndustry.biz You're suggesting there that we'll see LBP 2 at some point?
Alex Evans

Well, I'd love there to be a sequel, put it that way. But that's not an announcement - although I will say that the entire team is working on LBP.

GamesIndustry.biz When you look at LBP today, it's a much bigger prospect than now than it was when first released. Now, that's the nature of user-gen content, but doesn't that make it better value now?
Alex Evans

Well, that part is free. You get it regardless.

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