LEGO Universe ending in 2012

Lego Universe will be shutting its virtual doors on January 31, 2012, due to a lack of paying subscribers to the kid-friendly MMO.

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The brick-based MMO LEGO Universe will be shutting its plastic doors in January of 2012, NetDevil announced today. The company didn't pull any punches in specifying the reason for the closure: the free-to-play zone was plenty popular, but the game just didn't attract enough paying subscribers to sustain it. The game's final day will be on January 31, 2012.

Unfortunately, this also means layoffs. Play Well Studios in Louisville Colorado and the marketing office in Billund, Denmark will both be closed, affecting 115 employees. The company says it will offer the displaced workers assistance in finding new positions.

"The LEGO Universe team can take pride in having developed and launched a great LEGO experience that many players will miss," said Lego Universe VP Jesper Vilstrup in the announcement. "Right now, we have almost 2 million players in LEGO Universe, and we get extremely positive feedback from players. Unfortunately, we have not been able to build a satisfactory revenue model in our target group, and therefore, have decided to close the game."

Mads Nipper, executive VP of the Lego Group and reigning champion of the coolest corporate name, says that Lego Universe gave them "valuable insights" that will be put to good use building future digital products.

It's growing more and more common to hear of MMOs struggling to maintain subscriber numbers, but a full game shutdown is a more drastic first step than we usually see. Many MMOs opt instead to switch to a fully free-to-play model. DC Universe Online saw great success from making the switch this week, and even World of Warcraft has adopted a quasi-F2P model. LEGO had dabbled in a F2P version that was more like a trial, but hasn't experimented with a fully-free model. Get your block-building antics in while you can.

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  • reply
    November 4, 2011 1:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, LEGO Universe ending in 2012.

    Lego Universe will be shutting its virtual doors on January 31, 2012, due to a lack of paying subscribers to the kid-friendly MMO.

    • reply
      November 4, 2011 1:09 PM

      and yet star wars the clone wars adventures mmo (lol) has tons of players and they gouge you on pretty much everything AND it sucks

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      November 4, 2011 3:03 PM

      They had several problems with their business model.

      F2P was very limited. As in, the first zone. You couldn't get out of the starter area. That's more of a demo than F2P. The starter area didn't really feel like it was really multiplayer either. Ya there were other people running around, but there no was reason for it. You solo'd everything, though you could group there was no reason to.

      The other problem was after F2P was the full subscription. Seems to be as a game setup for parents to admin their kids, they should have had a premium level where mom or dad could spend some money to open up more of the game world or options. Pay to get the newer areas, have more than one character, block limit, etc.

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        November 5, 2011 12:41 PM

        when i heard it was going to have a subscription i knew it was going to fail you cannot have a subscription based game in this day and age that is marketed to children.

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      November 4, 2011 4:07 PM

      My kid couldn't maintain interest in the game for a full month. It was very limited and not much fun.

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      November 4, 2011 4:15 PM

      What was that indie game that you built shit with legos... brick something? That shit was fun.

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      November 19, 2011 10:23 AM

      why shut down the best lego game ever made.