Gazillion sells its rights to massively multiplayer game with "majority" of game's developers offered jobs to continue work on title; layoffs reported.
Gazillion's Lego Universe massively multiplayer online game was in development for four years before launching last October, but the game was online for only four months before the developer divested itself of the project. Today, Gazillion announced that it has sold its rights to Lego Universe to The Lego Group, the Denmark company that publishes the game and manufactures the building block toys on which it is based. No purchase price was announced.
As part of the deal, the Lego Group has offered employment to "the majority of the Lego Universe development team," which was formerly part of Gazillion's NetDevil subsidiary. They will continue to work on the game from their existing Colorado offices, while Gazillion's other NetDevil projects will be moved elsewhere. According to an unconfirmed account, the move resulted in more than 20 layoffs from NetDevil.
"We're proud of the game our team built and are certain that it has a bright future," Gazillion president and COO David Brevik said in a statement. "The transition of members of our team to the Lego Group enables us to focus completely on internally published, free-to-play game businesses."
Lego Universe has been expanding since launch with additional items and environments. Earlier this month, the game incorporated the Ninjago toy line into its world, as well as new multiplayer features allowing four gamers to adventure together.
For more on Lego Universe, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
[CORRECTION]: This article originally referred to Lego Universe as a "free-to-play" game. GameSpot regrets the error.
I think it's great that The Lego Group kept most of the people that spent their time making this game. If only more companies in the gaming industry could do the same.......
@ FriendBear: It has improved VASTLY since Beta. I'm just worried about the move...LEGO is great at coming up with new ideas, but they're about as tech savvy as the minifigures they build; that is to say, not at all. (Anyone who has asked Lego for technical support-on ANY Lego game-will understand this.) They definitely NEED the NetDevil employees to keep the game running... Then again, LU has done surprisingly well for a non-TT Lego game (technologically speaking), and that combined with its innovative content should keep things going for quite some time.
Your article states it was "free-to-play", but I'm pretty sure it costs $10 monthly. I played the demo and found it very fun and polished. I'm surprised it's not doing well.
"the lego group" a group of 10 nursery kids? if they paid more than a white 2x2 and a yellow 2x4 then they got ripped off.
This game is still around?? I beta tested this game and it was terrible, granted usually beta have problems...but this was..just bad.
I don't think Gamespot was saying it was free to play, it was probably a bad choice of words. I think what they meant was that the developer is starting work on a free-to-play game, or at least that's how I interpret it.
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