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Some acquisitions in the game business are unsurprising because they make perfect sense. Sony’s acquisition of Media Molecule today is a case in point.
Sony would be stupid not to acquire this game studio, which produced the hit game of 2008, LittleBigPlanet. But in its infinite wisdom, it has done so for an undisclosed price. Sony can do this now because its much publicized losses and troubles in the game console industry have now abated. The parent company is making money again and Sony’s game business is on track for rapid growth, thanks to some hit game titles last year, hardware price cuts, and a redesigned PS 3 Slim. (We will ignore the slight hiccup of the last few days where a leap year bug prompted Sony to warn game players not to use their PS 3s).
Surrey, England-based Media Molecule will join Sony Computer Entertainment’s stable of 15 worldwide studios, which employ thousands of game developers. The purchase price was not disclosed. The deal is a consequence of the fact that Media Molecule made a lot of money for Sony, which doesn’t want this studio to fall into the hands of rivals Microsoft and Sony.
LittleBigPlanet was a cute 3-D platform game where players could create their own levels. Players created more than 2 million levels that others could download and pay for free. It resulted in a game that could be played for months and millions of sales. The PS 3 has sold more than 33 million units worldwide, but it remains in third place behind Microsoft and Nintendo.
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