Lego aware of brand saturation fears

Senior development manager at Lego Group says company makes sure each new game has something fresh, is tied to physical toy set.

A new Lego game has been on store shelves every year for almost a decade now, but the series isn't likely to fade away anytime soon due to brand saturation. That's according to Lego Group senior development manager of video and mobile games Darryl Kelley, who told GameSpot that each new game adds something different to the series, and this is just one reason why the brand has endured.

Lego: Lord of the Rings is one of two new Lego games due this year.

"I think any developer, or any publisher, or toy manufacturer would always look at [brand saturation] from an acute, strategic, and competitive point of view," Kelley said. "And it's important that…we're adding novelty to each and every game. There's always something new; there's always something different. We're always looking to add different layers…whether it's a feature or a function or it's new hardware, which we'll have the luxury of having over the next few years. So it's definitely always been a concern, and it's just important to maintain a healthy balance."

Another reason why the Lego brand of games has endured is because the Lego Group makes a conscious effort to release games that are tied to physical toy sets.

"We design every game as a support of a core product," he said. "We've learned from the past that we need support to make sure that every game is supported from a core theme that we have physically available to our consumers."

Lego Star Wars games alone have sold over 30 million copies to date, with the Lego Batman and Harry Potter franchises moving many millions of copies themselves. Looking ahead, a new Lego massively multiplayer online game from Age of Conan developer Funcom is in development, Lego: Lord of the Rings is due out next month, and Lego City Undercover is due for the Wii U by April 2013.

The rest of GameSpot's interview with Kelley will be published next week. During the talk, Kelley addresses concerns that Lord of the Rings purists may have regarding Lego: Lord of the Rings, as well as why Funcom is the right studio to make the new Lego MMO, and how the company goes about considering new franchises for game treatment.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

131 comments
Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

Lego games for me is like comedians trying to do an Arnold Swartzenegger impression for the 1,000th time. It was great once but It just gets old.

nagauthier
nagauthier

I get the criticism that the games are all the same but I still love them.  Part of that is I am really OCD about collecting things in games but I hate when it's ridiculously hard or time consuming like the pigeons in GTA IV. With the Lego games you've got a pretty stress free 100% achievement list.  Plus I'm a huge fan boy and the properties they do are pretty much all fan boy fare.

Justinps2hero
Justinps2hero

They have milked it far too much already, they stick 'lego' on something new seemingly on a monthly basis & frankly I'm pretty sick of seeing the same rubbish churned out again & again.

But, saying that, someone out there obviously likes it because they make money.......can't think who that would be......but no-one I know, thats for sure, fasure!

grokh
grokh

no matter how many games lego does it will always be better and more innovative than fifa and pro evolution soccer who releases games every year and only changes players around -_-x

Andrew1073
Andrew1073

This game looks really awesome.  If I had never played a 'Lego' game, could anyone suggest me a game to start on?  Like, which is one of the better ones I could get my hands on?  I own Wii and PS3.

escritora84
escritora84

I don't mind the saturation as much as I mind all the bugs that have been coming out with the last few games... I got so fed up with Lego POTC that I stopped playing...

expeditopaz2008
expeditopaz2008

Keep doing great games, and the saturation won't come. Simply and 1-2-3. After two Lego Batman, how about a Lego Marvel?

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

Saturation?!...of Lego?! nooo way!  (yes, I'm laying on thick sarcasm.)

Sablicious
Sablicious

There are stuff-all decent LotR games.  So, Lego can't really go wrong here.

 

...as long as Suaron is playable!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

The only Lego games I own are Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and 5-8. But the only reason I bought them was because we (my family and me) liked HP and because the actual HP games were twank. Mind you, I will be buying Lego City Undercover so maybe Lego itself does have something to do with it.   

woodyfr
woodyfr

We know it is tied to physical toy set. And the next game will be LEGO Marvel Heroes... Mark my words.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

LEGO acquire most of the good saga franchises. 

I personally dont own any of the lego games, i think they are for the younger gamers but i think its great for the kids to play through epic story's in a non violent way.

My little cousin loves all the lego games and always gets me to play them with him when i visit. 

sdoxas
sdoxas

'Lego LEGO'!!!  Tha'd be off the chain, son!

sonicare
sonicare

Well, I guess if it isnt broken. . . .

iomor27
iomor27

This one looks to be a pretty cool game. Adding novelty, as the article said, is good and all, but it has to be more than a mere "novelty". It has to be enough to enrich the game and take it to another level. Otherwise, it's just not enough to warrant a full price purchase of the game.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

Looking at all these wishes I thought about another thing. The beauty of my Legos was that I could mix and match them however I wanted - pirates with eqyptians, Star Warsers with westerns etc. When Lego Star Wars game included Indiana Jones as playable I thought it was a sign of the future, but since then crossovers haven't gotten any speed.

 

So basically Lego could aim to do 1 huge Lego Universe game that has all those, more or less the entire history of Legos from originals to licensed. It's probably difficult and expensive to get all the licences, but atleast for the smaller franchises it would make sense to combine them in 1 big game. Even if the game is to be a linear adventure/collecting game.

simon1812
simon1812

yeah brand saturation....thats the issue.... the StarWars franchise is a better example of brand saturation, they have a lot of hit and miss through 4 decades but they keep coming at it. as long as the ppl iskeep buying they will keep pooping lego games of about anything.

 

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

Legos will be released into the atmosphere, assuring *puts on sunglasses* COMPLETE BRAND SATURATION!

DevaGolgotha
DevaGolgotha

I honestly can't wait until a LEGO Hobbit game.

rushiosan
rushiosan

I liked LEGO games until LEGO Indiana Jones: The original adventures. I just can't take them anymore, specially the Harry Potter franchise. I hope LEGO LOTR don't disappoint me.

werewillf
werewillf

It would be cool to see a lego videogame franchise, lego mario bros, lego final fantasy, etc.

 

Llama345
Llama345

I like the lego seires. although i cant play them alone. 

franzito
franzito

I wonder why GS cares to post this kind of news, I mean, they are talking about money here, how the LEGO brand is aware of saturation and such; is not something that I, a guy who really don't care about "gaming market reality", care to discuss. I'm a romantic gamer who still believe developers put their hearts instead of bets in the business.

gurkagunner
gurkagunner

The lord of the rings console games have not been all that great, I liked two towers but the lego theme should offer some humour and less crash and slash

mateyman
mateyman

I actually like the games, but I've started to forget what real legos are like. Mostly because I don't play with them anymore, but partly because their video games seem to take up so much of the picture now.

tgwolf
tgwolf

Well, brand saturation of LotR games is CERTAINLY an issue, and something to avoid, since the various others are largely disappointing and are about as wearyingly-contrived as Guild Wars games. I REALLY hope something fresh comes along, but I am slightly more interested in having a more open LotR universe and less a tiresome revisiting of each and every movie or even book sequence. Too often in these games there is fatal limitation to what WAS written and not what HAS YET TO BE WRITTEN or that which may be derived from what was alluded to. Guaranteed, Middle Earth and Ea are MUCH larger than what can be crammed into a handful of arguably canonical books. 

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

they don't suffer from game fatigue because their target demographic are younger audiences for the most part. I know there are plenty of adults that enjoy the lego games, but most of these sales come from younger audiences who might not have enough gaming experience to know game fatigue which leads to a brand saturation....

time9966
time9966

 @Andrew1073 lego starwars is what started it all and really roped everyone in.  easiest gameplay, simplest design and steadiest camera of all the Legos so far.

BludshedX
BludshedX

 @Suikogaiden So you like reenacting movies with little lego pieces? That's interesting. I probably haven't done that since I was 5, but that's just me.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

 @iomor27 OXM described Lego LotR as 'My first Skyrim'. Yes, you CAN walk from Hobbiton to Mordor.

dragonfoxmem
dragonfoxmem

 @werewillf some video game franchise is already on rival block builders, like Super Mario Kart and Halo. Also Transformers.

pezzott1
pezzott1

 @franzito If your a "romantic gamer", you should read on how Lego was created. Its a awesome story. :)

Llama345
Llama345

 @franzito I dont know how you can believe that with EA, CoD, and the mountain of unoriginal IPs.  But on the flip side maybe the devs have heart and soul and the publishers are the evil step parent. 

Andrew1073
Andrew1073

 @time9966 I think i may start with this one, just worried by it being the first one of these that the graphics/gameplay won't measure up to the newer ones of these series.

sdoxas
sdoxas

 @BludshedX  @Suikogaiden Pretty sure you were just putting them in your mouth when you were 5, let alone comprehending and reenacting movies.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

 @BludshedX  @Suikogaiden I have never re-enacted movies or tv shows with Legos. All Lego plays have been original, except maybe with bits and pieces here and there.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

 @Andrew1073  @time9966 It's fine. The graphic style itself is hard to make look bad. The graphics are fine in all of them. And I actually like the gameplay better in the Star Wars ones.