5 million new players have jumped into LittleBigPlanet 2 since the PlayStation Network outage earlier in the year. Media Molecule confirmed the figures as part of a panel at the Develop conference this morning.

"I like that stat because it's growing," revealed Media Molecule co-founder Alex Evans.

"LittleBigPlanet is not a stagnant community. There's multiple levels published every second. You can no longer keep up with the amount of content."

LittleBigPlanet's staying power is the quality of its user generated content, according to Evans.

"One of the things we noticed about LBP2 – difficult second album and everything – one of the subtle points is the games you get in LBP2 are more varied and they're actually more fun," he added.

"LBP1 there was an amazement to it, and it was cool there was this user-generated content. But LBP2, it's subtle, but there's actually better quality games on there.

"As the result the community has published the first million LBP2 levels twice as quickly as they did with LBP."

Since launch, over 2 billion levels have been played in LittleBigPlanet. That's from a pool of over 4.7 million user published levels. Former Sony president, Phil Harrison, said LittleBigPlanet had exceeded all expectations.

"When we were planning the game we thought if we'd sold a million units and one per cent of the users made a level, that would be an additional ten thousand levels," Harrison said. "That sounds pretty impressive. That's at a 1:99 ratio. 99 per cent of people would just be players, and one per cent would be creators."

But according to Evans, practically every player submits a level, giving PS3 users a reason to go online and explore what's new.

"One of the things I really love is it gives you a reason to go online. A lot of people use their console and they're a bit afraid of the stigma of headshot. Multiplayer can be a bit terrifying.

"The thing about LBP is it coaxes you in. You don't know you're online. So it's this real reason to go into the world of PlayStation 3 online and PlayStation Network."

[source eurogamer.net]