Lego Universe Free!

For all those games that happen to not be BrikWars

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Postby Ben-Jammin » Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:14 am

If lego wants to make a bajillion dollars out of a new video game they should do an FPS on consoles, make a game which is like a toned-down alternative for parents who don't want their kids playing CoD. Customization and destruction with lego would fit perfectly in the genre.




Such a game would be awesome.

I did play Lego Universe since I got a month's subscription for free, and I thought it was pretty cool. I was a level 3 knight/level 2 space ranger for the sentinels after I got done playing. I was going to renew my subscription (expecially since the new ninjago world came out) but I guess I won't be doing that now.
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Postby Tzan » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:24 am

stubby wrote:It's true. Unless they drop their Scrolls lawsuit against Notch, I'm not interested in giving them any money or attention.


Thats still going on?
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Postby stubby » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:16 pm

ForlornCreature wrote:If lego wants to make a bajillion dollars out of a new video game they should do an FPS on consoles, make a game which is like a toned-down alternative for parents who don't want their kids playing CoD. Customization and destruction with lego would fit perfectly in the genre.

We had it inside LEGO Universe, and it was awesome. LEGO wouldn't let us release it though, something about violent gameplay or griefing or I don't even remember what. But we played it in-studio whenever the kids weren't watching.

Man, if only you could have seen all the crazy games we had built inside that engine. Fortress sieges and capture the flag were cool, vehicular flag-rush combat was the best.
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Postby Scottsman » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:45 pm

Lego fortress sieges sounds amazing.
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Postby ForlornCreature » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:28 pm

stubby wrote:
ForlornCreature wrote:If lego wants to make a bajillion dollars out of a new video game they should do an FPS on consoles, make a game which is like a toned-down alternative for parents who don't want their kids playing CoD. Customization and destruction with lego would fit perfectly in the genre.

We had it inside LEGO Universe, and it was awesome. LEGO wouldn't let us release it though, something about violent gameplay or griefing or I don't even remember what. But we played it in-studio whenever the kids weren't watching.

Man, if only you could have seen all the crazy games we had built inside that engine. Fortress sieges and capture the flag were cool, vehicular flag-rush combat was the best.


LOL, love the double standards with clone wars and all.
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Postby Keldoclock » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:01 pm

Tzan wrote:
stubby wrote:It's true. Unless they drop their Scrolls lawsuit against Notch, I'm not interested in giving them any money or attention.


Thats still going on?


Nope. Feel free to give Bethdesa all your moneys. They lost, Mojang won.
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Postby Tzan » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:16 pm

OK, will do!
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Postby ForlornCreature » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:13 am

Tzan wrote:
stubby wrote:It's true. Unless they drop their Scrolls lawsuit against Notch, I'm not interested in giving them any money or attention.


Thats still going on?


Sort of...
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Re: Lego Universe Free!

Postby RJ » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:46 am

I just popped in for a bit because of some necro'd threads and would like to say that Mike had a go at me just before the game came out after I said I didn't think it worked as an MMO.

Totally called it.
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Re: Lego Universe Free!

Postby stubby » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:30 pm

RJ wrote:I just popped in for a bit because of some solvess'd threads and would like to say that Mike had a go at me just before the game came out after I said I didn't think it worked as an MMO.

Totally called it.

I think the reason I had a go at you was because I was already working at Lego Universe at the time, and so I knew for a fact that every single thing you were saying was the opposite of what was correct. I'd be happy to invite you to go back and re-read all your posts about how there was PvP mech combat and no one was going to have to pay for anything, and then come back here and tell everybody how unfair it was that I thought you were just a little bit completely full of crap.

It worked fine as an MMO; we had a couple million players in-game when they announced the cancellation. For any other company that would have been fine, but LEGO didn't want to risk its billions of dollars' worth of brand equity on the couple tens of millions of dollars it could have made by monetizing that population. It really was fun to play though. Or I should say, still is; it's still up for another month or two, you should consider dropping the $10 for two months' subscription and check out the crux prime and ninjago stuff especially before they shut it all down.


Edit: If this were any other forum I'd also be getting all uppity and saying "Nice, thanks for gloating over the fact that I lost my job, very classy" but there's no way I can pretend it doesn't fit right in with the standard for behavior around here.
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Re: Lego Universe Free!

Postby Tzan » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:48 pm

What??

They had over 1 million "paying" customers and they shut it down?
Many MMOs stay up with 100,000.

If they were making a profit, why shut down?
I see you wrote an explanation, but it doesn't make sense.

Were most of those 1 million the free version?

Or the total of the accounts that were created, not active accounts.

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Re: Lego Universe Free!

Postby stubby » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:53 pm

Active accounts. The paying members were a smaller portion, I'm not going to go on the record to say whether or not we had (well over) 100,000 paying subscribers, since I'm not sure whether or not that number was made public.

But LEGO was obsessed with child safety and moderation, so the expense of serving those players was much, much (MUCH) higher than for equivalent kid MMOs from other companies. (Believe it or not, I spent some years working on kids' MMOs for a couple of other companies before LU, although I don't like to talk about it.) Again, it had to do with the fact that they were willing to lose millions in moderation costs because they needed to protect their billions in brand equity.
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Re: Lego Universe Free!

Postby stubby » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:09 pm

Tzan wrote:If they were making a profit, why shut down?
I see you wrote an explanation, but it doesn't make sense.

They weren't making a profit, but all the pieces were in place. Stable service, fantastic ongoing ratings from critics and parents (at least after we added the massive content patches, since low content was the early complaint), and a large, active, and engaged userbase, who was already demonstrating the willingness to fork over cash. Any other kids' MMO would have killed for our numbers, it was crazy.

But then what other KMMOs do (and even many of the adult MMOs now), once they've got their audience established, is to start generating their main body of revenue from micropayment markets. Our internal revenue projections for if LEGO was willing to go with micropayments were off the charts. It was an absolute gold mine just waiting to be tapped.

But LEGO felt that a micropayments focus would cheapen the brand, and that was that. No amount of video game revenue will ever be worth risking threats to the core brand; it's not who LEGO is as a company.
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Re: Lego Universe Free!

Postby Tzan » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:18 pm

Thanks for additional info.
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Re: Lego Universe Free!

Postby Nitewatchman » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:55 am

stubby wrote:
Tzan wrote:If they were making a profit, why shut down?
I see you wrote an explanation, but it doesn't make sense.

They weren't making a profit, but all the pieces were in place. Stable service, fantastic ongoing ratings from critics and parents (at least after we added the massive content patches, since low content was the early complaint), and a large, active, and engaged userbase, who was already demonstrating the willingness to fork over cash. Any other kids' MMO would have killed for our numbers, it was crazy.

But then what other KMMOs do (and even many of the adult MMOs now), once they've got their audience established, is to start generating their main body of revenue from micropayment markets. Our internal revenue projections for if LEGO was willing to go with micropayments were off the charts. It was an absolute gold mine just waiting to be tapped.

But LEGO felt that a micropayments focus would cheapen the brand, and that was that. No amount of video game revenue will ever be worth risking threats to the core brand; it's not who LEGO is as a company.

I actually find that to be kind of admirable.

Don't get me wrong; I think it's stupid that they shut it down and I'm sure that it's no picnic for you, Mike, but the idea that they actually gave a crap about their reputation and recognized how much micro transactions cheapen the feel of a game is pretty impressive.
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