Economy

Lego’s grand online plans

SmartCompany /

In the past, many Aussie kids grew up with a tub of Lego bricks to play with, but the rising popularity of video games and the net has threatened to leave the classic building block toy behind.

According to Reuters, however, Lego has decided to move decisively with the times by launching its own MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) to be called Lego Universe.

Set to launch next year, the online game will be a kind of unlimited Lego virtual world, with players able to create their surroundings, items and accessories, and even themselves, from digital Lego blocks.

The extent to which players will be able to build and rebuild their surroundings will depend on the context – a forest would be less bricks-based than a city that might be made almost entirely with bricks.

As with all MMOGs, the essence of the game will be online interaction between players, with each person able to create their own online “avatar” in the form of a little Lego man or woman.

Each player’s avatar, or online persona, will be a customisable digital version of Lego minifigures, the tiny characters included with most Lego kits that also feature in existing Lego video games such as Lego Star Wars.

“We want to make the connection between digital play and physical play,” Lego Universe boss Mark William Hansen says. “The physical experience is our core. The digital experience will never replace the physical experience, but it’s a nice add-on.”

And Lego will ensure the link between the real and online worlds is maintained with an interesting feature – users will also be able to purchase physical versions of their online Lego creations.

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