NetDevil's upcoming LEGO-branded massively multiplayer game will be known as LEGO Universe, Denmark-based licensor LEGO Group has revealed. Announced this March, the game will be NetDevil's third MMO following the RPG-flavored space-centric Jumpgate and last year's vehicular action-oriented Auto Assault. NetDevil is also the company behind the AGEIA-sponsored, PhysX-powered destructible shooter Warmonger, Operation: Downtown Destruction.
According to today's announcement, LEGO Universe will be a "child-safe" but full-scale MMO containing the range of social and community
interactions expected from games of the genre. In particular, the game's source material of LEGO bricks gives the game a strong focus on interaction and customization. Last month, NetDevil's Scott Brown indicated that the team is shooting for a "fully interactive environment" and noted that the game's construction components are likely to appeal particularly to older gamers despite the game's all-ages aesthetic. NetDevil has strong development history with real-time physics; Auto Assault featured extensive Havok physics integration, and Warmonger is heavily physics-based.
"LEGO Universe is being built as a place where fans and community members can discover nearly unlimited play possibilities," said lead producer Ryan Seabury. "Given the strength of the LEGO community, a large part of bringing the game to life will be working hand in hand with them to ensure that the core values of creativity, connectivity, and imagination are reflected in the end product."
LEGO Group has seen success licensing out its popular toy brand to video games. Traveller's Tales LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy were well received by fans and critics, and the studio is currently developing a LEGO game based on Batman.
NetDevil plans to ship LEGO Universe in Q4 2008.