Funcom is sunsetting LEGO Minifigures Online in September

This won't come as a surprise, but it'll still make you sad: Funcom is shutting down LEGO Minifigures Online this fall. The studio made it official last week.

"It is with a heavy heart that we announce that LEGO Minifigures Online will be closing on September 30th, 2016. We know that many of you are still enjoying your adventures in the game, and this has been a difficult decision for us to make but unfortunately, the time has come to retire LEGO Minifigures Online. Starting June 6th, 2016, new players will be unable to join the game and the in-game chat will be disabled. Existing players will still be able to play up until September 30th, 2016."

While Funcom doesn't explicitly give a reason for the sunset, in April the studio released an annual report that spelled doom for the game: "As of the time of this annual report, [Funcom] does not find it likely that any of the game metrics will improve, and has adjusted its investment in the game accordingly. The license agreement with LEGO for the LEGO Minifigures Online game ends October 2016."

Our condolences to all gamers and developers affected.

Source: Funcom. Thanks, DDOCentral.
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66 comments
Jack Pipsam
Jack Pipsam

I think part of the problem was they didn't do much advertising for it.

Like I swear the only people who knew about it were those who follow Funcom games.

SexyKingJesus
SexyKingJesus

Remember they choose making this game over making AO2

Project54
Project54

I don't really get why anybody would make an MMO/online type game aimed at children. Online games obviously need a continuous revenue stream to support the continuation of the game, and children don't directly have access to disposable income. It seems like your just adding an additional difficulty factor to the chances of success for your game without any possible additional benefit. 


Make a game aimed at an older audience, get them hooked on your game and they can spend on it without seeking anybody's permission. Games aimed at children have to go through a gatekeeper parent who doesn't have any connection to the game to get revenue. From a business perspective, why would you chose the more difficult option?

Jack Pipsam
Jack Pipsam

@Project54 Pretty much the largest games for children online I think were never made for kids.

Runescape comes to mind, huge child playerbase, but it isn't technically made for children.

Children don't like being treated like children, chat restrictions, big fluffy icons and so forth I imagine would just turn a lot of kids off, they'd rather play other cool MMOs, now in the free era nothing stopping an 11 yo downloading Neverwinter.

libertylion7
libertylion7

This game should have never been made.  I despise the LEGO company anyways, and this just means Funcom can put more resources into games like TSW.

Armsbend
Armsbend

@libertylion7 despise legos.  OK, that isn't weird or anything.


I fucking hate Willy Wonka for making Laffy Taffy.

mbbrazen
mbbrazen

My grand kid and I enjoyed playing Lego Mini figures but when they started out, it was way too expensive to play if you didn't fork over a subscription fee (additional lives and health potions too expensive for a kid that was 6 years old at that time). By the time they changed their pricing and sub policy he already had lost interest. Companies building games for kids really have to rethink the whole sub pricing and what free to pay can mean for a child whose parents may not want to pay $10 every month for a game a child may or may not remember to play every month.

ddocentral
ddocentral

Funcom has made many games over the years, some of which are still available as single player PC games. Bloodline Champions was a very early MOBA-like game that is still active and is available from Steam. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funcom

Kaaz
Kaaz

its a shame but not unexpected, i expect the license fee was just too much to keep things going. sad news for anyone who enjoyed the game and anyone working on it

ZenDadaist
ZenDadaist

Oh wow. FC hasn't done this before :/ I'm hoping it's only because license renewal would be too much and not starting a precedent of sunsetting their own games. Hopefully that's all it is and this will mean lessened expenditures.

Lord Zorvan
Lord Zorvan

@ZenDadaist LOL This is the second flop they've shut down. They shut down Pets Vs. Monsters last year.


TheChiefTurtle
TheChiefTurtle

That's sad, what a cute game, why is Lego not supporting it, they could have done a shit-tton of advertising

pcgneurotic
pcgneurotic

I think that's the answer then -- if it had been more profitable for Funcom, they would have renewed the license and carried on. This makes me think it must be quite expensive dealing with LEGO. Well, me and the kids enjoyed our time with it, but the burn of LEGO Universe being canned was an ever-present downer on the whole experience.

Oleg Chebeneev
Oleg Chebeneev

Anyther meh decision of Funcom after shop revamp in AoC. Why kill the game? If online hosting became financially not viable remove online part and turn it into singleplayer. Its not like its a real MMO, game could be easily played solo and it already has B2P model

Gilthy
Gilthy

@Oleg Chebeneev because the LEGO license agreements ends in October 2016, and probably costs a significant amount of money? It's not just the cost of running the game, it's also the costs of licensing (and I can't imagine the LEGO license being free, or overly cheap).

Oleg Chebeneev
Oleg Chebeneev

@Gilthy @Oleg Chebeneev As far as I know you need to prolong lecense only if you actively developing the game - so if its MMO. I cant see how all those devs that released single player game 20 years ago still paying for license in them

HappyDwarf
HappyDwarf

Everyone predicted its faillure, everyone except Funcom...

kilikgaia
kilikgaia

LEGO fucked Funcom lol they like alright make this shit.....Bam! Lego Dimensions! coming soon! They should of focus more on Conan and The secret world with the staff and money they wasted on this mmo.

Hirku
Hirku

I'm sorry players are losing a game they enjoy, but I see this as the elimination of dead weight and a positive for FC going forward.

Yangers
Yangers

Its depressing to think they wasted resources on this while AoC got sweet FA.

Sorenthaz
Sorenthaz

@Yangers They probably had a partnership with LEGO in order to do this game.  

DPandaren
DPandaren

It probably just has more to do with Lego Worlds being more popular then anything super nefarious. 

Sorenthaz
Sorenthaz

@DPandaren Well, also the Lego MMO before this one (LEGO Universe I think it was?) was pretty quickly shut down too.  Simply put, it's really difficult to keep up games that are aimed largely at children.   FreeRealms suffered a similar fate.

Gilthy
Gilthy

@Sorenthaz @DPandaren I played LEGO Universe when it was around, I found it a very nice game to play around in. The "building" aspect could have been better. But alas, that too went the way of the dodo ...

dragonwhimsy
dragonwhimsy

Funcom just isnt' a company with any experience with advertising to children and they apparently didn't hire anyone who did so whatever the quality of the game it was doomed from the start.


A big IP can't save you if no one knows about it. And children probably don't read many industry blogs.

Sorenthaz
Sorenthaz

@dragonwhimsy Children games are difficult to keep afloat in general.  Most games aimed at younger audiences have been shuttered over the past few years.  LEGO Universe tried it and failed as well.

Nordavind
Nordavind

@dragonwhimsy The forums for the game was a subforum of the official Lego forums. Packs of Mini-figures promoted the game and came with free ingame characters.

McGuffn
McGuffn

@Sorenthaz @dragonwhimsy The problem is a lack of ritalin in children. They get distracted easily and are unwilling to grind in the treadmill.



Sorenthaz
Sorenthaz

@McGuffn @Sorenthaz @dragonwhimsy Lol.  That's why most of the kids games are fairly shallow and have multiple menial things to do like car racing and so on.  FreeRealms for example had a lot of different minigames and such to play.   Same with Lego Universe which then had a linear MMO-ish element to it as well.

melissaheather
melissaheather

@Sorenthaz @McGuffn @dragonwhimsy I still think Sony's general plan was for Landmark to replace FreeRealms.  It is obviously meant for a younger crowd and it was supposed to compete with Minecraft.  Even the graphics aren't that dissimilar.


But then Daybreak bought it from Sony and ... things changed.

Jack Pipsam
Jack Pipsam

@McGuffn @Sorenthaz @dragonwhimsy Also children grow up.

Teenagers will play the same MMO into adulthood, children rarely play the same game into their tween years let alone once they become a teenager.

IndigoSalma
IndigoSalma

This was mainly a game for children. And kids these days are mature enough to want games like Conan and Secret World , so this was bound to fail from start. Terrible idea to even make this game.

Project54
Project54

@IndigoSalma


No young children love games like this. My 5yo nephew loves the LEGO games. But I've never seen any advertising for this game nor seen it in any retail store, and young children don't tend to read blogs and do research. If the target market has never heard of it, how can it ever do well? Also I can't see parents of such young children being comfortable with their children playing an 'online' game. I agree it was a terrible idea to even make the game, but not for the reason you said.

Lord Zorvan
Lord Zorvan

Why feel sad? Each shutdown is one step closer to FUncon being out of business. I relish the thought.

Armsbend
Armsbend

@Lord Zorvan I loathe certain developers for various reasons.  Where did Funcom go wrong with you?

PizzaDoh
PizzaDoh

@Lord Zorvan What do you gain from them shutting down? Sounds like you don't play their games anyways...

Lord Zorvan
Lord Zorvan

@Armsbend @Lord Zorvan Completely abandoning AO to make AoC with AO funds, completely abandoning AoC to make TSW with Ao and AoC funds, denying free players who paid for Rise of the Godslayer access to Rise of the Godslayer, ripping AoC assets/art/animations to make Conan ARK clone cash grab while AO and AoC continue to languish,  flopping a barely functional years old " beta engine" on AO and then ignoring it from then on, etc, etc.

Oleg Chebeneev
Oleg Chebeneev

@Lord Zorvan @Armsbend So you hate them because they dared to make new great games? Okey, captain Logic... Also you are wrong about Conan Exiles ripping AoC assets. The game is made on completely different engine and everything is made from scratch.

Project54
Project54

@Lord Zorvan


There is something seriously wrong with you that you desire they go out of business just because you presumably don't like what they have to offer. You relish the though of people being out of jobs and gamers who do like their products no longer able to play. What a horrible individual. If you don't like what they have to offer then ignore them, why should you even care for their fate? There are plenty of games by plenty of companies I have no interest in, but I wouldn't desire them to go out of business because there are people out there who do enjoy their games.

Project54
Project54

@Lord Zorvan @PizzaDoh


Satisfaction of people being out of jobs and people who do like their games no longer able to play? Your seriously warped and need help.

Lord Zorvan
Lord Zorvan

@Project54 @Lord Zorvan @PizzaDoh You realize the devs that have already been laid off or jumped ship, went on to form their own game company and they have an open invitation to any other FC devs that leave? The devs will be fine. It's the suits that will be fucked.

Lord Zorvan
Lord Zorvan

@StClair @Lord Zorvan @Project54 Oh, these ones will. FUncon goes belly up, no more sponging off the Norwegian government (FUncon receives a yearly grant from Norway as well as huge tax breaks from Canada, one of the few things that's kept their sorry asses propped up over the years, another being sucker investors dumb enough to keep giving them loan extensions in hopes of someday actually seeing a return on their money ). Oh, and fun fact? Their board of directors is mostly ex-EA suits.

StClair
StClair

@Lord Zorvan @StClair @Project54 and also no more TSW, an excellent game I actually enjoy.  All for the sake of your petty, spiteful vendetta.

I don't have much love for NCsoft, after CoH's closure, but I don't wish for them or their remaining games to fail.  (I simply adjust my expectations and decisions accordingly.)

Let go of your hate before it twists and consumes you.  If it's all that drives and satisfies you?  Find something else.

Project54
Project54

@Lord Zorvan @Project54 @PizzaDoh


I notice you completely ignored the players. Ok so lets just for a minute take what you said at face value, what about the players who enjoy their games? Your selfish.

Project54
Project54

@Lord Zorvan @Project54


What's that? You best friend died? Plenty of other people out there. You'll be fine....

I'm being deliberately hyperbolic in hope of illustrating to you the sheer idiocy of your statement. Same principle, just to a different degree. Something you care about/enjoy, no longer available.


I hope your a troll because if not your exceptionally selfish to a level I struggle to imagine. You want to see Funcom because it personally suits you, with absolutely no care for anybody else negatively impacted.  :/