LittleBigPlanet studio spends big on R&D to ensure projects are innovative

Media Molecule: We must continue taking risks

Sony’s acclaimed Guildford studio Media Molecule believes it is “vital” to remain a global innovator and avoid reliance on familiar ideas and brands, according to newly issued financial documents.

In a directors’ annual report, obtained by Develop, the Sony owned studio said its main business risks were “largely as a result of the company’s heavy reliance on the one LittleBigPlanet brand name”.

Since forming in 2006, Media Molecule has established that brand with two widely applauded PS3 games, but last year the group announced it would not be developing a third.

In its financial report, the company said “it is vital for Media Molecule to focus a high proportion of its resources on R&D to allow it to maintain its world leading position as a developer of innovative games”.

Media Molecule said it must “remain at the forefront of technological advances, and must bring new and often risky innovations to market in products of the highest quality”.

For the twelve months ending March 2011, the studio made £3.44 million in profit, the documents show. In the same period the company spent about £4.1 million on research and development.

To achieve this, the studio directors said Media Molecule was making significant investments in “leading edge physics and dynamics, rapid world creation from laser data, innovative routes to market via web based interfaces, 3D stereo-optics for advanced simulation, and use of ‘hi-def’ data capture and processing techniques”.

By the end of March the studio had about 50 staff, the report added.

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