The recent layoffs at LEGO Universe make a little more sense today as studio owner Gazillion announces that it has sold the rights to the game and the Louisville, Colorado studio developing it. The majority of LEGO Universe development team members, formerly part of Gazillion's NetDevil subsidiary, have been offered employment by the LEGO Group, who will continue game development and operations from the current Louisville, Colorado studio.
"We're excited about the launch of LEGO Universe, and are happy to have the developers officially join the LEGO team," said Jesper Vilstrup, Vice President at the LEGO Group. "This acquisition demonstrates our commitment both to the ongoing success of LEGO Universe and to an overall strategy to expand our brand online."
In 2006 - prior to Gazillion's acquisition of the company in 2008 - LEGO Group entered into a work-for-hire relationship with NetDevil to build LEGO Universe. LEGO says that the deal was part of a provision in the contract - an option they chose to take today. "The acquisition of the rights to the game and the ability to transition members of the team to continue work on the game follows the fulfillment of the LEGO Universe development contract," the company said in a press release yesterday.