Tarsier Studios To Develop Future LittleBigPlanet Games?
Gamasutra has an excellent feature with Tarsier Studios (who just released the critically applauded definitive version of LittleBigPlanet) that answers the legitimate question: “How did the Rag Doll Kung Fu guys get to work on one of Sony’s most important, beloved franchises?” it’s an interesting read, but today I’d like to pose the possibility that Tarsier Studios could very well become Sony’s dedicated LittleBigPlanet studio.
But before we let Tarsier touch Sackboy some more, background is necessary as to why the talented folks at Media Molecule are putting Sackboy up for adoption. You see Media Molecule CEO Alex Evans recently spoke to the folks at Edge magazine, and commented on their current projects (Tearaway, and an unannounced title they’ve spent £4.1 on in R&D) including how creativity, and new ideas are what defines Media Molecule, as opposed to specific franchises like LittleBigPlanet:
An interesting thing about Media Molecule is that we actually enjoy tearing everything up and doing something we couldn’t have imagined doing before. That’s the positive of all this. As a studio, we want to keep everything fresh. We don’t want to be known as just the LittleBigPlanet studio, much as we love that. I think of Media Molecule more as creative gaming.
And luckily for Media Molecule Sony is a company that values their internal studios opinions, and wishes, so when Alex Evans recommended Tarsier Studios (who’ve only released the divisive Rag Doll Kung Fu, along with an obscure PC game called ‘Desert Diner‘ of which I can’t find a single video) they complied, and gave Tarsier the keys to LittleBigPlanet; Tarsier’s most significant undertaking by a wide margin.
But why did Alex Evans choose Tarsier? Because they’ve been working on LittleBigPlanet DLC unbeknownst to many of us this whole time:
Tarsier CEO Mattias Nygren says Evans liked the work Tarsier had done to flesh out Rag Doll Kung Fu, and the small studio began doing costumes for sackboys right after the first LittleBigPlanet game proved such a sensation on PlayStation 3 and needed continuing content. When Media Molecule needed a hand to continue creating art, they tapped Nygren’s team. Almost every LittleBigPlanet 2 costume was Tarsier’s work.
This laid the groundwork for a late night call from Media Molecule’s producer that would unload an enormous amount of responsibility on Tarsier, and CEO Nygren who’s quoted recalling the conversation he had with Media Molecules producer:
He said Media Molecule would be looking at some new ventures after spending quite some time with LittleBigPlanet, and they had recommended us to take over the creative rein for the platform, and would we like to do the next one.
Now, bare in mind Tarsier Studios only had 16 employees at this time, but through the help of Sony, and Media Molecule; Tarsier Studios built a larger team with the specific purpose of developing LittleBigPlanet Vita, this staff includes several gamers from the LBP community across the globe, hires which Nygren called crucial to LBP Vita’s success – Tarsier even ended up opening a second office in Sweden.
With Media Molecule recommending Tarsier to “take over the creative rein” of their LBP platform, along with a custom created LittleBigStaff, and the overwhelming consensus from the gaming community that LittleBigPlanet Vita is the best LBP title to date, I’m inclined to think this wont be Tarsier’s last stab at developing Sackboy’s limitless kingdom; Craftworld.Would you like to see Tarsier Studios become Sony’s LittleBigEngineer’s, or will you miss Media Molecule’s influence? Sound off in the comments!