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Media Molecule Spend Big In Research & Development

Published January 9, 2012 by |

Recent financial results from Surrey-based developer Media Molecule show that the LittleBigPlanet creators have invested more than four million pounds into research and development during the fiscal year ending in March 2011.

Some developers are often content with finding a winning franchise and simply sticking with it for many years. While sometimes this results in experiences that are honed to near perfection with each iteration, there’s no denying that this can also ultimately harm series and drive them to becoming stale fast. However, in the case of Sony-owned Media Molecule they are determined not to be a victim of this increasing trend by stepping away from LittleBigPlanet

In the newly issued financial documents Media Molecule posted impressive profits of around £3.44 million but also, in the same period, invested a massive £4.1 million in research and development. The reason for this heavy investment is quite simple, as the Surrey-based team explained: “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”.

There’s no doubt that this is a bold move, but when you look at the innovative tools and options offered in their LittleBigPlanet titles it feels, perhaps even prematurely, that we are in safe hands with the little British team that can. Media Molecule added that following these significant investments they aim to “remain at the forefront of technological advances”, and “bring new and often risky innovations to market in products of the highest quality”.

So what are these advances being working on? While the proposed use of these technologies are tightly under wraps, the studio directors have said that significant investments are being made 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”.

While these all sound very impressive in theory, it’s the question of how these are going to be used that is up for debate. Could this be linked to the ongoing rumours that the next generation of consoles are looming or could this be in preparation for an all new game? The real reason for these massive investments is currently unclear, but the potential of a new console alongside a flagship Media Molecule game is certainly a mouth-watering prospect.