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.

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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.
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.

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