On Friday it was revealed that LEGO Universe, the LEGO block-themed massively multiplayer online building game, would be closing in January. Today we learn that 115 employees will lose their job in the aftermath of the game's shutdown.
LEGO Universe launched in 2010, and in February of this year the company hired most of the game's development team and bought the rights to the game from developer NetDevil. Shortly thereafter it began laying off members of the staff. In June the game offered a free-to-play section in hopes of driving more users to play. Ultimately this did not seem to help the title retain users.
"The LEGO Universe team can take pride in having developed and launched a great LEGO experience that many players will miss," said Jesper Vilstrup, VP of LEGO Universe. "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."
LEGO also said that it would continue to pursue deals with TT Games and Warner Bros for other LEGO-themed properties.
"The development of our digital offerings continues to be a very important element in our strategy," said Mads Nipper, executive VP of the LEGO Group. "We have more than 20 million visitors on LEGO.com every month, and LEGO video games are among the bestselling children's video games with sales of more than 60 million units in the last five years. Through our experience developing and running LEGO Universe, we have gained a lot of valuable insights, and we have a very strong foundation for future development in the digital area."