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Sources: Media Molecule to lay off 15-20% of staff

The developer of Dreams and LittleBigPlanet announced the news in meetings with staff today
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Update (October 24, 2023, 17:25 CEST): Media Molecule has officially confirmed plans for layoffs as reported below in a statement on social media, which said that this move was made amidst "significant strategic changes" and the switch of focus from Dreams to the studio's new project.

"We have had to make the difficult decision to begin the consultation process for team members within certain departments of the studio. This is a tough moment for the individuals impacted and the studio overall," the statement said. "Every single role that has been put at risk is delivered by someone who has contributed something special to Media Molecule. We will make sure those impacted receive the best support we can provide during this process."

Original (October 24, 2023, 13:40 CEST): GLHF sources say UK game developer Media Molecule plans a round of layoffs with around 20 jobs being on the chopping block. Targeting a headcount of 115 employees, this is a significant reduction from the roughly 135-strong workforce. Employees were informed about this in an internal meeting today, on October 24, 2023.

Founded in 2006, Media Molecule was acquired by Sony in 2010, becoming part of PlayStation Studios. It’s best known for developing the LittleBigPlanet series, a puzzle platformer with a big emphasis on content created by its users. The original LittleBigPlanet, released in 2008, won several awards and was likely the catalyst for Sony seeking to integrate the studio fully into its own operations. The company had already helped kickstart Media Molecule with initial funding after being presented with a prototype of its first game.

LittleBigPlanet's Sackboy with a sad expression on his face.

Sackboy is one of PlayStation's most recognizable characters.

Due to the popularity of the games, their protagonist Sackboy became one of the public faces and a bit of a mascot of PlayStation for a while.

In 2020, the studio released Dreams, a sandbox game with extensive game creation tools for users. Dreams allows players to make some pretty impressive games by themselves, but it seems like this recipe wasn’t leading to financial success. Back in April 2023, Media Molecule announced that it would stop supporting Dreams starting in September 2023.

Media Molecule is currently developing a new game, though other than the project not being in any way related to Dreams nothing certain is known about it.

This bad news comes a day after Sony triumphantly announced that Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was the fastest-selling first-party launch in PlayStation history. Fellow UK studios Frontier and Creative Assembly are currently undergoing restructuring with job losses as well.