Lego Universe shutting down in January

Building-block MMOG to close after just over a year on the market, taking developer Play Well Studios with it; Lego cites difficulty converting non-paying customers to subscribers.

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Last year, Gazillion sold its just-launched massively multiplayer online game Lego Universe to The Lego Group, predicting a "bright future" for the title at the time. That future was instead brief, as The Lego Group is pulling the plug on the game.

Lego Universe will come to an end in January.

The Danish building-block company announced today that it will be shuttering the MMOG on January 31, 2012. Lego Universe vice president Jesper Vilstrup addressed the decision to close the game, saying that although it has a healthy user base of 2 million players, the company simply has not been able to set up a satisfactory revenue model for its target user group. Specifically, getting gamers to make the leap from the title's free-play zone and into content reserved for paying subscribers proved difficult.

Colorado-based Play Well Studios, along with Lego Universe's marketing division located in Denmark, will be casualties of this closure. A total of 115 positions will be affected.

The Lego Group said it looks forward to future projects in the digital space. Collaborations with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for future Lego-related titles remain unaffected. WBIE subsidiary TT Games' Lego Harry Potter: Years 5 - 7 launches next week, and the studio is currently working on Lego City Stories for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Discussion

64 comments
psychohourse
psychohourse

It was very fun and good game, I had fun there also, I hated that no-membership had one place, but aslo was very fun.

SolidTy
SolidTy

Cool, a lot of my comments keep getting deleted. BONUS...

megakick
megakick

This a example of a MMO that would have done better on the console (Wii, XBOX 360 and PS3).

urchaldean
urchaldean

Truly terrible - my son has been trying to sign up for paid content for months - but in Australia and New Zealand - not available (although free to play is). Now they are closing for lack of money.

Charocks
Charocks

I played this briefly before my PC fried itself. It was REALLY fun.

Maslor
Maslor

I already knew that this game existed but why bother trying a lego mmo with a monthly subscription fee when there are games like the upcoming Guild Wars 2 that are multiple times better without subscription fees?

quickchord
quickchord

They probably should have invested in better marketing or some marketing; as with lots of others here I've never heard about this till now.

PlasmaBeam44
PlasmaBeam44

It would have helped if anyone knew the game existed.

keyb0red
keyb0red

2 surprises here for me : 1. there is/was a MMOG for Lego???? 2. see #1

GhostofWar75
GhostofWar75

One word can describe this all........... Derp

DP1130
DP1130

LOL, I also had no idea Lego had a MMO. I think MMO's are going threw a weird time right now. Gamers as a whole are really sick of the current MMO game style. Every MMO seems to be a rehash of the same thing just diffrent skins. The MMO that changes the formula will be the MMO that flurishes. Until then, I will not be hitting a sub button for any MMO.

megakick
megakick

Oh No! what am I going to do? Life of a MMO. 3. Pay to Play 2. Free to Play 1. Shut Down. There are a few exception, DDO.

Bad_Wobot
Bad_Wobot

I had no idea this game even existed.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

lol...well what did you expect...you can only take lego so far. infact they milked this franchise til there was nothing but skin and bone left...

THA-TODD-BEAST
THA-TODD-BEAST

Another MMO, another failure. The pile continues to grow.

Granpire
Granpire

It's too bad, there were some nice ideas here. Perhaps if there had been more licensed LEGO content and just a little more content to immerse free players into the game. There could have been a much bigger emphasis on creativity as well. The trailers showed diverse vehicles roaming a city. This was not in any way indicative of the final product.

jubdeidamasta
jubdeidamasta

@ DragonRift, The same thing happened with music games(most recent), happened with platformers in previous generations and is starting to happen with FPS games.

jubdeidamasta
jubdeidamasta

@ DragonRift, The same thing happened with music games(most recent), happened with platformers in previous generations and is starting to happen with FPS games.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Well then you restrict new people from even TALKING to each other without paying money, you kinda get a messed up game. You can't even talk to each other in a group.There is a HUGE amount of restriction on a free player. More than any other game out there. Might as well be playing it solo. The game is crap.

Goyoshi12
Goyoshi12

I remember how the Lego.com site blew up about this MMO. They seemed so hyped up about this MMO, I mean they had user created content for the game, your own creatures put into it, own characters, the whole nine yards...and then this happens. It's kind of funny in a way, really. :lol:

DragonRift
DragonRift

@Death_Blade_182 It infuriates me how so few people see that. There are way too many MMOs trying to fight for subscribers, and with most of them requiring monthly subscription fees, most gamers prefer to stick with just one at a time. Look at all the MMOs in the past that went free-to-play because of this. Look at the ones that shut down completely because of either lack of interest, or consumers not wanting to risk a few months of fees for a sub-par MMO. This was to be expected. There's nothing wrong with MMOs themselves, but when you over-saturate the market with them, situations like this are inevitable. I can't say I feel bad. :|

Death_Blade_182
Death_Blade_182

There's little to no room left in the market for MMOs, this was to be expected right from the start.

redskinStu
redskinStu

"Specifically, getting gamers to make the leap from the title's free-play zone and into content reserved for paying subscribers proved difficult. " Really? In this economy? Huh, strange.

moviequest14
moviequest14

I personally don't think it is the subscription rate..hundreds of other mmo's with less financial backing do this with considerable success...it is just that these are a contradiction in terms...so far every lego title we have seen has been a casual-type experience and Lego couldn't convince older gamers (with a bigger wallet) that they could be a serious mmo also.

JSusie
JSusie

Kind of funny a game that is more or less building things with legos (minecraft) is immensely popular. And then a game about actual legos falls flat on it's face.

Raxyman
Raxyman

Which game? I've never even heard of it...

John_Aguilera
John_Aguilera

I didn't even know this game existed..nd it looks pretty cool

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

is anyone truely surprised that this happened? I mean come on wake up and smell the coffee beans your main base was lil kids that don't make an income and parents that are struggling to provide for those kids... If the game was made for the fan base as teenagers and up sure it might have a chance but lil kids pfff whatever...

Maxx_the_Slash
Maxx_the_Slash

@ Megavideogamer Is Lego City Stories even an MMO game? It's a parody of Grand Theft Auto, which until GTA4 has been primarily offline single player. And upon checking Wikipedia for Lego City Stories, it says Open World, but says absolutely nothing about it being an MMO. Dragon Quest X will be the Wii U's (and Wii's) experiment into MMO games, not Lego City Stories.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Nintendo should take note, Since lego City stories is a launch title for the Wii U. So a Lego MMO has failed. Nintendo should consider what to do or the Lego city story will be stort lived.

zequex
zequex

That's too bad! I tried it out for a while and it had great promise. I loved the idea of having unlimited bricks to build with. Hopefully they try again someday in a kind of Minecraft world. ....now that I think of it, that would be AWESOME! :O

nurnberg
nurnberg

A mmo failing, who could have thought?

CANOFOWNAGE
CANOFOWNAGE

@DrKill09 The game was free to play...

DrKill09
DrKill09

MMO's suck. Here, buy the game and pay to play, and then BAM, we shut it down. The only one I ever had interest in was APB... til I played the beta. God damn it was awful.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

That's kind of sad.I have fond memories of spending DAYS building creations on the My Factory software and submitting them to potentially be a part of the game. However,I could not be made to subscribe to a game via monthly payments,even if I helped in some small way to make it. (Plus the game ended up being geared toward little tikes,and I'm old enough that I could have a little tike of my own.)A game is a thing you should buy and own.Monthly payments shouldn't be involved,which is one of the reasons I don't like the idea of a phone for a game device. Rest in Peace Lego Universe. Better luck next time.

slowdrum13
slowdrum13

mjc0961 and grokh, same thing. Didn't you guys read the article?

slowdrum13
slowdrum13

@SolidTy It was f2p, that was their problem

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

Uh yeah. You know why you couldn't get people to pay? 90% of them were probably 8.

syntotic
syntotic

They should forget about FREE and charge for everything, then reduce maintainance costs and close any future developments. It should save a long term franchise in the long term.

grokh
grokh

i dont get why they dont go free to play... most games who do end up making even more money than when they were subscription based.

TrueIori
TrueIori

Hate to see any mmo shut down but Really charging for a lego game when I can just play the other for a one time fee?and these are the people making the Marvel game.....oh god -_-.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

2 million?!?! I consider myself a hardcore gamer, and follow IGN and Gamespot just about everyday, at least once. I have never heard of this game...

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

You mean people don't want to pay for a Lego MMO when can they can play something better like WoW,Guild Wars,Rift, etc. Who would've thought!?

SolidTy
SolidTy

@slowdrum13 I have no idea what I wroteoriginally in 2011 that you were responding too because many of my posts are getting deleted (I reported this years ago to GS admin). I don't comment in articles anymore, it seems pointless at Gamespot.com