Tuesday, June 2, 2015
A few years ago, Lego released an online video game called Lego Universe. It was a "massively multiplayer online game" (MMOG for short).While not exactly the format of its new game, it did have some of the basic components/capabilities. It's interesting how sometimes a great idea is just a little ahead of its time. Thus was Lego Universe. The game was fun to play for kids, but required a monthly subscription (which wasn't cheap) and it also required a high speed Internet connection to really be any fun.
It lasted about 2 years and then was shut down by the company. Lego statement regarding the shutdown was: "Unfortunately, we have not been able to build a satisfactory revenue model in our target group, and therefore, have decided to close the game."
Now, comes a new game...
In 2011, about halfway through the life of "Lego Universe", Mojang released "Minecraft" which rapidly became a phenomenon. Unlike Lego's offering, Minecraft basically allowed players to build their own complete worlds... using a system that really looked a lot like Lego bricks. The game became so popular that in September 2014, Microsoft bought the whole thing for 2.5 billion (yes, with a B).
Now, about 18 months later, we see Lego strike back. The new game allows for players to basically build their own worlds... sound familiar? The game is already available in beta, through Steam for $14.99
So, I'm a fan of competition. It makes everyone better, and I'm anxious to see what this does for the whole platform. Often times when a large corporation gets a hold of something new and cutting edge, the edge is quickly lost as creativity gets stunted as a trade off for profits. However, since this is two giant companies competing for the same space, this may be the exception to that rule as they both battle over the hearts & minds in this space. It should be an interesting next 12 months or so.
Posted by John Flucke at 06:00