Really, it's a total bummer. The LEGO Universe team announced on the game's message boards that the recently free-to-play MMO (massively multiplayer online game) will close its colorful, plastic doors on Jan. 31, 2012.
The game launched to fanfare just over a year ago, because, you know, it's LEGO. Unfortunately, even going free-to-play this summer couldn't keep the dream alive.
The LEGO Group chalks the game's death sentence up to something terribly simple: a lack of players to support its new found free-to-play model. Even a game that's free to play needs healthy percentage of players to pay up--just look at how Facebook games survive.
As a thank you to its dedicated fans, The LEGO Group will provide players that subscribe as of Dec. 31 the full game's final month for free. Here's the full statement from The LEGO Universe team:
Hello Adventurer, today we are very sad to announce that LEGO Universe will be closing on Janurary 31, 2012. This was a very difficult decision to make, but unfortunately LEGO Universe has not been able to attract the number of members needed to keep the game open.
We are thankful to have had the opportunity to share this adventure wiith an amazing community of players. We hope you will continue to enjoy LEGO Universe for the last few months. As a thank you, if you are a paying subscriber on December 31, 2011, we will provide you the full game for the final month for free.
Again, we want to thank the fantastic community of players who made LEGO Universe such a vibrant, fun and creative experience.
The LEGO Universe Team
It's always a shame to see an online game be forced to shut its doors, but especially so in this case. LEGO made for some fond and uniquely elaborate childhood memories. Come one, with what other single brand of toys could you make space rangers storm a medieval castle protected by dinosaurs? Don't you even dare say "Mega Bloks."
Were you a fan of LEGO Universe? What are your best memories of LEGO as a kid?