‘LittleBigPlanet 3’ online servers are no more in the wake of hacks

The game's multiplayer mode had been suspended for months following attacks by hackers and trolls.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09:  A model dressed as the character Sackboy from the "LittleBigPlanet" video ...
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The online multiplayer servers for LittleBigPlanet 3 have returned — but just for players on the PlayStation 4 and 5. The official Twitter account for the beloved puzzle platform game confirmed that the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions of the trilogy will no longer have access to multiplayer servers.

LittleBigPlanet’s servers were shut down in May due to ongoing attacks by hackers, who wreaked havoc on the game by, for instance, flooding the servers with traffic to push them offline, and by displaying offensive messages in-game without warning.

Big baby — Apparently the whole thing was orchestrated by a single person who was “unhappy with Sony’s treatment of the franchise,” according to players of the game who spoke to Eurogamer. If they were unhappy about the direction Sony has taken the franchise — the last game to be released was a spin-off title called Sackboy: A Big Adventure — causing problems on the multiplayer servers just motivated the company to abandon the original franchise that much faster. The hacker didn’t like the mechanics of the new game so he spoiled the fun for everyone. Boo.

You’d think a major company like Sony would be able to thwart a hacker on its servers, though it probably came down to a cost-benefit analysis and there likely aren’t enough remaining players on the older consoles to justify the effort. It’s hard to imagine that there are many people playing LittleBigPlanet at all, considering the third installment in the original trilogy was released back in 2014. Also, Sony’s been hacked before.

Other old titles have suffered a similar fate. Team Fortress 2 for years has suffered from a plague of bots that automatically kill players as soon as they join a multiplayer game. But the first-person shooter game was released back in 2007, practically a lifetime ago in today’s age, and developer Valve has been slow to combat the problem as it works on new projects like the Steam Deck handheld console. Why hackers attacked that game is a mystery in and of itself. The podcast Reply All investigated the Team Fortress 2 hacks in a recent episode but came to no decisive conclusions about the hackers’ motivations besides maybe boredom, and perhaps finding entertainment in causing others frustration.

A silver lining — At least the servers on the PS4 are back for LittleBigPlanet 3. All the games in the franchise will remain playable offline for PS3 and Vita owners. And all content downloaded in the old games will also continue to work.

LittleBigPlanet debuted on the PlayStation 3 back in 2008 and received critical acclaim as a unique platformer where players themselves create levels and can share them with others who jump and avoid obstacles to successfully navigate to the end and win. We, for one (plural), will miss it.