THE launch of a new game is definitely a ‘LittleBig’ deal for its creators - with the success of the small company boosting the fortunes of its international customer.
LittleBigPlanet™ is the first game launched by Middlesbrough-based Double Eleven and looks set to turn the tide in favour of gaming giant Sony’s stalling hand-held Playstation®Vita device.
Double Eleven, based at the heart of Middlesbrough’s flourishing digital zone in DigitalCity Business’s Boho One HQ, recently launched LittleBigPlanet to rave reviews.
It received the highest rating of any game released on the console so far and looks to get even bigger following its critical acclaim by website Metacritic (www.metacritic.com) which aggregates reviews to form an industry accepted standard of quality.
Achieving a high score is well-regarded across the games industry and can be the difference between success and failure.
Lee Hutchinson, CEO of Double Eleven, said: “We are delighted with the feedback we’ve received. LBP is a fantastic franchise to be a part of and we wanted to ensure that we got it just right, both for ourselves and for the dedicated fans it has.”
“The PS Vita faces stiff competition from smart phones, such as the iPhone and android devices so high profile games like LittleBigPlanet are vital to Sony’s success in selling its video game systems.
“Forbes, one of the world’s leading business magazines, said: “Enthusiasm over the Vita has been held in check, but I think LittleBigPlanet™ may be a tipping point for the system.”
Double Eleven has grown rapidly since it was founded in January 2010, expanding from two to more than 40 staff. Its Middlesbrough base is a collection of cool, stylish and functional offices, providing cutting-edge equipment – with recreational facilities to keep the creative thoughts flowing.
Mark South, Operations Director of the company, said: “Although we have some of the most experienced game developers in the UK at Double Eleven this was our first title as a company – and we’ve really grown as a business throughout its development.
“This growth is represented not only in the number of people, but also by how firmly rooted Double Eleven has become as a multi-million pound business. Through all this we’ve tried our hardest to maintain an environment where people can thrive - and help them achieve amazing things like LittleBigPlanet.”
Double Eleven is now working on its next projects but is remaining tight-lipped as to what they might be.
The company hopes its newfound reputation from the success of LittleBigPlanet PS Vita will help motivate more gamemakers to the region, forming supportive relationships and collaborations and becoming part of the cluster of digital businesses already in the area.
DigitalCity Business is a business driver for the region, aiming to create a supercluster of digital and creative firms and to support the growth of any business, whatever stage in its development it is at, from start-up to rapid growth.
CEO of DCB Mark Elliott said:”Double Eleven is one of our stand-out successes. It’s been very gratifying to see the company take-off, gain confidence and stature, and mature into a real player in the gaming industry.
“From my point of view that’s what it’s all about – we’re here to help firms make that transition – we call it ‘from garages to global’ and Double Eleven is an almost perfect representation of that.