Sackboy’s been busy.
Someone just shared the 8 millionth user-created level for LittleBigPlanet, the charming puzzle-platformer that buoyed the PlayStation 3’s early years. Not bad for a game a few months shy of its fifth birthday. It originally shipped with around 50 levels.
Steven Isbell, LittleBigPlanet’s community coordinator, made the announcement on the official PlayStation Blog.
Released in 2008, LittleBigPlanet centered around the concept of “play, create, share,” featuring mascot Sackboy (or Sackgirl) in a series of side-scrolling levels. That represented the “play” aspect. The game opened the floodgates by including a host of level editing and creation packages that allowed users to build their own challenges and share them with a very active community. PC gamers had enjoyed those options for decades, but LBP successfully brought mod culture to a console arena. Over a million user-generated levels went online in the first year. The crowdsourced development doesn’t seem to be letting up, either.
Those levels include re-created Mario World levels and Pac-Man ala Sackboy games, along with a number of original (and often quite punishing) content. And it’s important to note that none of this includes all the crazy stuff players built in LittleBigPlanet2 (such as a Resident Evil 4 re-creation and Dead Space-inspired levels), which features even more robust modding tools.
The strength and creativity of the LittleBigPlanet community has added immeasurably to the core game. Without it, most players would have put LBP back on the shelf long ago. Instead, they enjoy a steady stream of new (and free) content for a five-year-old game. Fan forums regularly host contests to create levels around themes like time travel, Halloween, and Rube Goldberg-like mechanical devices. Altogether, LittleBigPlanet users still generate about a million new levels a year, or roughly 2,740 new levels a day.
That’s a level of commitment developer Media Molecule could never have hoped to accomplish. And not a bad $60 investment for a gamer, either.