We’ve known for a while that Sony planned to bring PlayStation franchises to mobile platforms, but we were hoping for something with a unique hook. Instead, Sony has partnered with the independent developer and publisher Exient (Lemmings, Planet 53) on a mobile game starring LittleBigPlanet’s Sackboy. Ultimate Sackboy is an auto-running game for Android and iOS, launching globally on February 21st.
The title follows a well-worn formula: control a cute auto-running mascot, jumping and swerving lanes to avoid obstacles while snagging power-ups. Like Super Mario Run and other genre standards, you’ll play with your phone in portrait orientation. The plot revolves around the crocheted hero competing in the Ultimate Games, which we imagine as an Olympics for semi-retired video game mascots living in an artisan-crafted world. Unsurprisingly, the game’s Google Play listing mentions ads and in-app purchases, consistent with the trailer’s emphasis on acquiring costumes and cosmetics.
Although we’d love to see publishers like Sony bring something more unique to their phone-based spinoffs, an auto-runner starring a beloved mascot ticks the boxes publishers prioritize on mobile: maximum micro-transaction potential with minimal investment in unique gameplay.
The public launch will follow the game’s closed betas in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey and Malta. You can sign up to pre-register on Google Play, and this page will notify you once it’s available on iOS (it will have iPhone and iPad versions).