Funcom + Lego = MiniFig MMO
Let's not mince words here: Despite the best efforts of the Lego Group, Lego Universe failed
. Its efforts to convert free-to-play users into subscribers were fruitless, leading to the MMO being shut down in January of this year.
Thankfully the Lego Group has not given up.
Secret World of Plastic
Funcom, Developers of Conan Online and upcoming The Secret World, has nabbed the license to develop a Lego MMO based on the bestselling Minifigures product line. This is also the first time Funcom will be entering the highly competitive online youth market, as its current products all swing towards the adult market segment:
"The market for family-friendly online experiences intended for children and youngsters is brimming with potential. This is source material we all know and love and we simply cannot wait to get started working with the LEGO Group on realizing this exciting project.” Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas
The official press release
gives evidence that Lego have learned the power of integrated communities, as it notes the MMO will be a prominent part of the Minifigures website which receives millions of unique visits a month. More importantly perhaps, Funcom's experience in turning subscription losses into Free-to-Play profit means a sure hand at the helm of monetization.
Details right now are sparse, but if one considers the breadth of the Minifigures line, whether its knights or firemen, you can hope that the end product takes full advantage of the brand diversity. It helps as well to consider that in 2012 over 340 million Minifigures are going to be produced, so demand is obviously there.
If Funcom manages to hit the right nostalgic sweet spot, it isn’t going be just children playing it.
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Douglas Stewart is a staff writer at iQU. When he is not writing, he devours books, plays an excessive amount of games, and is working on his upcoming fiction novel that (naturally) involves intersections between technology, gaming and society. Follow Douglas @TheGearCog