LittleBigPlanet studio co-founder departs after 17 years

(Image credit: Media Molecule)

Mark Healey, co-founder of Media Molecule and creative director on LittleBigPlanet and Dreams, has departed the studio after 17 years.

"From LittleBigPlanet to Dreams and beyond - proud to have played my part and lucky to have jammed with some truly brilliant people - and such a wonderfully talented community which I will continue to be a fan of," Healey says in a farewell tweet thread. "But a strong cosmic breeze is pulling me and my pirate heart is awakened. I'm not getting any younger so am going to indulge myself in the winds of my various curiosities for a while and see where they take me."

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Healey has not specifically said where he's going, but pirate references abound through his farewell message, and his Twitter bio now features a skull and crossbones emoji at the front of his work history. Fans are already speculating that Healey's jumping over to Sea of Thieves developer Rare, which like Media Molecule is based in the UK. It would certainly be notable to see him jump from a first-party PlayStation studio to one under the Xbox banner, but for now his LinkedIn simply lists his current role as "self-employed."

Healey's been in the industry since the days of 8-bit computers, getting his start programming games for the Commodore 64. He went on to join the legendary Bullfrog Productions, working on projects like Magic Carpet, Dungeon Keeper, and Fable. Healey worked with a number of other Lionhead employees in his spare time to develop Rag Doll Kung Fu, which is notable as the first non-Valve game to be distributed on Steam.

The team that led Rag Doll Kung Fu, including Healey, went on to pitch Sony on what would become LittleBigPlanet, and once they secured funding, Media Molecule was born. As creative director on LittleBigPlanet and LittleBigPlanet 2, Healey shared lead design credits with technical director David Smith. Healey also served as creative director on Dreams.

Earlier this week, Media Molecule announced that it was ending live support for Dreams as it prepares to move onto an "exciting new project."

Media Molecule is certain to have a hand in many of the best PS5 games to come.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.