Media Molecule co-founder Mark Healey has announced that he's leaving the company after seventeen years. As well as co-founding the studio, Healey also served as creative director on the acclaimed LittleBigPlanet franchise, as well as 2020's game creation sandbox Dreams.
Speaking on his Twitter account, Healey says that it's time to "set sail and chart a new course". Healey goes on to say that he's proud to have "jammed with some truly brilliant people" on LittleBigPlanet and Dreams, and that he's grateful to have met "such a wonderfully talented community".
Despite his enjoyment of working with Media Molecule, Healey says that a "strong cosmic breeze" is pulling him in new directions. As such, he says he's going to "indulge the winds of [his] various curiosities for a while". He seemingly won't be making any big lateral career moves, though; he says his next adventure, whatever form it takes, will definitely involve making games.
Media Molecule was co-founded by Healey, technical directors David Smith and Alex Evans, and art director Kareem Ettouney, all of whom were former Lionhead Studios employees. The studio's first game was 2008's LittleBigPlanet, a platformer with an emphasis on user-generated content. A sequel, LittleBigPlanet 2, followed in 2009, with both games headed up by Healey.
Following LittleBigPlanet, Healey's next project with the studio as creative director was 2020's Dreams, which is more of a game creation kit than a traditional game. It's essentially LittleBigPlanet's user-generated content emphasis writ large, with that feature placed center stage and traditional developer-designed levels all but absent (although the studio has also created games within Dreams itself).
News of Healey's departure comes just a few days after Media Molecule announced it will end live support for Dreams later this year. It's not clear whether Healey's departure is linked to that decision or not, but Media Molecule is currently working on a new game, so we'll have to wait and see if it represents a dramatic directional shift. Stay tuned for more.