Big publishers a 'necessary evil'

So says Rag Doll Kung Fu bloke.

Media Molecule co-founder Mark Healey has told our sister site GamesIndustry.biz that smaller developers can benefit from working with big publishers and platform holders.

The studio is currently working on a previously announced PlayStation 3 game for Sony. Speaking in an interview published today, when asked if this meant a loss of creativity and freedom, Healey replied, "There's a balance. If it wasn't for our producer then it would probably go downhill quite quickly... It's good in a way, but it's a necessary evil because we don't have the money to fund it ourselves."

Fellow co-founder Alex Evans added, "For me, the PlayStation 3 was the leveller. You always see in the games industry that loads of start-ups appear every console wave, and it's a good time to start because no one else has used PS3 yet either.

"We can focus on one platform - originally we didn't know which platform we'd go for - but Sony has been great and we've gone with them. We've decided we can focus on that platform and exploit it."

Healey and Evans worked together on Rag Doll Kung Fu, the hit PC title distributed via Steam. Their new game will be a PS3 exclusive and will go on sale at full price - but that doesn't mean a big budget or development team are required, according to Healey.

"We're going to have a lot of content, we've chosen a game that suits our style but at the same time won't be seen as a budget game," he said.

Evans went on to explain, "The battle we've got with Media Molecule is that we want to reach the same market as the huge teams, and we think we can do that. I don't want to diss the big teams, because we've worked in those types of teams and there's a place for them. I don't think Fable could have been done with less people.

"It's more just that we decided we'd pick a game type and we'd pick a single platform to make sure we could keep the team size down."

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