Interesting to hear that LEGO, the large family owned European toy maker is launching an online world, LEGO Universe next year as part of a Massive Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG).
Me and the boys had only recently discovered an application, LEGO Digital Designer, that you can download from the LEGO site that lets you digitally build anything you want out of the nearly complete range of bricks, then price it up and have them deliver it to you. While it is a little advanced for 6 year old boys I spent many hours trying to build a replica of our house.
This move by LEGO is smart – it combines an online world with actually selling LEGO product. It will use every LEGO brick available, and will surely lead to increased sales through the experience of interacting with other peoples creations. If you know that the digital experience can actually be recreated in real life then users are going to want to try it.
Hopefully the price will be right – they’re talking of pay as you go, or a subscription service. To get the maximum uptake though they should ensure that there is a free option, for the very young, or for those players who aren’t committed gamers.
My boys use Club Penguin currently, as non-paying users. The experience is a good one, but for Club Penguin the only way of generating income is through subscriptions. There’s no other hook or real commodity behind it.
LEGO Universe on the other hand will have both the game experience and a great product to back it up. It’s sure to be a success.