Another first-party Playstation game is coming to PC, and another entry is ticked off by the impressively accurate GeForce Now leak, which is something of a crystal ball for the PC release schedule at this point. But is it Demon’s Souls (which is in the GeForce leak) or maybe bloodborne (for which we all pray in vain)?
No, ladies and gentlemen, it is Sackboy: A great adventure (cue irregular, muffled applause). On the one hand, that’s cool and all, especially as it marks another Sony IP making its way to PC, but given the nature of former Sony exclusives that have, will, and We hope coming to PC, it’s a bit of a shrug. Let’s face it, Sackboy isn’t exactly Crash or Ratchet, as recognizable as the “cute mascot,” nor does Sackboy’s first spin-off game give us anything significant on PC that we don’t already have. But hey, Ariana Grande likes it, so there’s that…
To be clear, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong or offensive about Sackboy, but the cute pincushion isn’t recognizable for the memorable platforming adventures we’ve shared with him à la Mario, or Sonic, or Crash. Sackboy’s recognisability is quite intertwined with the LittleBigPlanet series, which looked beyond the platform to create a vast universe of player-made content. That is the real appeal of Sackboy IP, and while Sackboy: A Big Adventure will be a nice little addition to Sony’s PC repertoire, LittleBigPlanet would have been a phenomenon.
I couldn’t tell you how many hours I spent browsing through player-made creations in the LittleBigPlanet games in the early 2010s – a veritable galaxy of goofy and wonderfully imaginative games that were primarily 2D platformers, but with LittleBigPlanet 3 branched out to the top-down games, racing games, and even shooters. I remember my friend and I spent three hours topping the online leaderboards in a recreation of the original Donkey Kong. Around Halloween or Christmas, I’d dive into lovingly designed festive levels to get in the mood, and LBP 3 in particular I remember a few unbelievable Well-made party and board games.
The series brought just a hint of that creativity we see mostly in the PC modding scene to the PS3 and PS4 – turning consumers into creators.
LBP was an odd and quirky series, tied only by the relatively restrictive toolsets in the game – the kind of toolsets and capabilities that would be completely unrestricted if it opened up the world of PC modding. Sackboy’s forthcoming debut on PC isn’t unwelcome and will almost certainly find an audience, but Sony could have tapped into something with LittleBigPlanet a lot of greater.
While new content for LittleBigPlanet has always been limited to carefully curated and sanitized DLCs on the Playstation Store, on PC it all came from the community; As with many PC games, the game code would need to be opened up just enough to allow players to fully customize Sackpeople, have greater flexibility in creating props, custom music and sound effects, and allow modders to create tools to further streamline the creation process . Then there’s the inherent precision and speed that comes with using a mouse and keyboard. The sheer efficiency of creation on PC would enrich the creations that would emerge from the LBP PC community.
Sony could even go a step further and bring Dreams, Media Molecule’s 2020 creation engine to PS4, pushing the Play, Create, Share ethos even further. Console folks have done incredible things with the tool – from Elden Ring fan art to sections from Halo Infinite, Silent Hills PT, and the original Resident Evil. Were this to come to PC, Sony itself would have a long-term marketing tool where for years we’ll see news, videos and mods showing the incredible things that can be accomplished by combining a creation toolbox with the tinkerer. friendly PC platform.
It’s actually a little surprising that no PC developer has replicated the “Play, Create, Share” concept on PC. Of course there are things like GameMaker and RPG Maker, but these are on a slightly more advanced level than, say, a LittleBigPlanet or Mario Maker.
But that could change soon.
Back in 2019, modding collective Trixel Creative attempted to make a fan-made version of LittleBigPlanet (LittleBigPlanet Restitched) for PC, but received a cease and desist order from Sony. It’s really understandable considering it’s a precious Sony IP and technically already available on PC via Playstation Now. In a 2020 interview with EurogamerTrixel acknowledged Sony’s right to defend its intellectual property, but bemoaned the fact that they couldn’t give LittleBigPlanet the presence it deserved on PC.
But to prove that death can indeed lead to rebirth, Trixel Creative made the wise decision to move on. They dropped LittleBigPlanet from the name (leaving just “Restitched”), replaced Sackboy with small stuffed animal models sewn together, and also very much kept the 2.5D LBP tone and ethos.
The studio was officially formed in February this year and released a reveal trailer for their new game Restitched on YouTube in July. Sure, it looks more like LittleBigPlanet 1 or 2 than LittleBigPlanet 3 (let alone Dreams), but it’s the start of the journey for the studio, and if Sony doesn’t give them some competition by deciding to release the beloved LBP bringing it to PC, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t see Restitched evolving and going through better and better iterations over the years like LBP did on Playstation. There’s a niche just waiting to be filled.
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