Sunday, April 05, 2009

Little Big Planet Online Hits the 2 Million Mark

Wow. Via Chris Remo over at Gamasutra, news that earlier this week, the much discussed, much adored LittleBigPlanet hit the 2 million online players! (VGChartz puts total sales at 2.13 million). Together, these 2 million players have created 725,000 online levels, generated about 4 million comments, and played the game over 125 million times. As Remo writes:
The PlayStation 3-exclusive sidescroller relies heavily on user-generated content both to provide more gameplay for owners of the game, as well as to serve as grassroots-level marketing demonstrating its avenues for creativity.


In a press release today, publisher Sony Computer Entertainment specifically called out a number of particularly impressive levels, including "LittleBigPlanet Takeshi's Castle," "LBP Jurassic Park," "LBP-MotorStorm," "LittleBigCalculator," "Uncle Fritz's Funhouse Frenzy," "Illumina Garden," and "Huge Pinball Machine," which it calls a "community favourite."

Follow the links for Youtube clips of these and various other awesome and/or pop culture-inspired levels. My favorite clip among them is this one of a uber-cool "Mirror's Edge" level.

The article also includes an interview from Sony marketing director Mark Hardy, who describes that LittleBigPlanet "is giving people from every walk of life the opportunity to express themselves creatively. The game is just the start. This is Creative Gaming: never-ending experiences that take on lives of their own through their players." Nice! If anyone knows where I can find out some user demographic stats for this game, esp. in relation to online participation rates, please please please drop me a line. I've had this game and all the fascinating developments around it (UGC, IP, cross-generational play) slotted as my next research project for awhile now, and it's exciting to see it's becoming such a massive, community-generating success. Now...if I can just finish writing this thesis already so that I can get started on the analysis ;)

In other news, the Cartoon Network's branded MMORPG FusionFall also hit a milestone this week, passing the 4 Million mark...pretty impressive considering the game has only been out since January. According to VirtualWorldsNews, this number describes "registered users," including both free-to-players and subscribers (a.k.a. basic and premium memberships). VWN describes:
FusionFall combines a a fair amount of gameplay, both in roleplaying and action-oriented styles, and is also looking to add in more social options. To celebrate the milestone, Cartoon Network is giving away a free Zak Saturday Bubblehead Helmet virtual good.

Apparently, once you get past the first couple of levels, the game is actually quite fun and addicting to play. I'll have to give it another go asap.

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