Sony Interactive Entertainment is considered as a good „owner” by Media Molecule, who formerly created LittleBigPlanet and since launched Dreams.
We’ve heard many times from Sony (or Jim Ryan, the CEO and president of Sony Interactive Entertainment) that the company is cautious about acquisitions and mergers, as they prefer to organically grow its internal studios instead of going on a shopping spree (which is what Microsoft is doing, but if we go outside the console manufacturers, we can name Embracer Group, which – for example – pulled Gearbox into its fold).
„All of us had experienced acquisitions before, so we took very seriously how we would help the team adjust. And you know, Sony has a great record of not meddling with the good parts of studios once they’ve been acquired. We set it up so that for a few years we still went in via the XDev group, so we had these sort of training wheels, and over time we gradually took them off.
So yeah, the big changes were the studio, the continued investment, and the ability to take these really big risks on things like Dreams. There are different trajectories for when you’re acquired vs. when you’re not, and for us, it’s been about us being able to double down on innovation, and what we can do in the [user generated content] space,” Siobhan Reddy, the studio director of Media Molecule, told Push Square in an extensive interview. XDev is Sony’s approach to support external indie developers and even fund their projects.
Media Molecule was founded in 2006, and it’s not a recent acquisition for Sony – the company has acquired the team in 2010. Alex Evans, the studio’s co-founder, decided to take a break from game development in September 2020.