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Sony: LittleBigPlanet can be a global success

Shuhei Yoshida believes the Media Molecule title "defies cultural differences"

Sony Worldwide Studios president, Shuhei Yoshida, has told GamesIndustry.biz that he believes forthcoming Media Molecule title LittleBigPlanet can transcend regional cultural differences and become a truly global hit.

Talking in an interview at the recent Games Convention in Leipzig, Yoshida also credited Nintendo with being "smart" over its decision to favour interactivity over visual advances, and explained that in the future, as games became more and more visually realistic, cultural differences around the world could pose problems for the global appeal of some titles.

"It could be a problem in the future, because the core of a game is its interactivity and gameplay. Something really goofy, like a Mario character, is loved by everyone," he explained. "But if it's a TV show or movie I doubt it would be so successful, because of the strength of that experience.

"We've overcome some of the cultural issues so far, but looking forward, because of the hardware, the technology, we're making very realistic human characters, and bringing a lot more production values, storytelling, humour - and that's very powerful if you're in the same culture. But that may start making a title unacceptable in a major way. So there's a fine line between furthering our art, but still trying to appeal to everybody.

"In a sense, intentionally or not, Nintendo's choice in staying with the same core technology from GameCube to Wii, and not to make games more realistic-looking but adding more interactivity - that was very smart. They know Japanese culture has only so much impact when it's just visual - anime is popular worldwide, but when it comes to movies, there are hardly any movies that are popular everywhere.

"LittleBigPlanet is unique in the sense that it defies cultural differences, and will hopefully be accepted in Asia as well as Europe and the US," he added.

The full GamesIndustry.biz interview with Shuhei Yoshida is available now.

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