LEGO Universe Shuts Down Tonight at Midnight (EST)

The final few hours are coming to a close for LEGO Universe as the game prepares to shutdown tonight at midnight. Back in November LEGO Universe decided to close it's doors in order to leave players with fond memories while they were still being had.

It's always sad to see a game with almost 2 million players close it's doors. For those worried about subscription refunds and have any other questions, go read their closing Q&A here. For now, players have until midnight (EST) to get their last minute LEGO fix.

BFF Report - Episode 94: RIP Lego Universe!

Farewell Lego Universe! In this week's BFF Report - Episode 94, Host Mike B. aka Fony airs his old LEGO Universe footage as he says goodbye to this children's MMORPG. For those of you who don't know, LEGO Universe just wasn't making as much as planned, so it was announced back in early February that the game would shut down by 2012.

Well, we are now a mere two days away from 2012, and LEGO Universe is making good on that announcement, as their official site notes that the game will be closing its doors indefinitely on January 31st at Midnight (EST). After you've watched Mike B.'s visit to the LEGO Universe, why not hop on yourself for the doomsday parties?

LEGO Universe to close in 2012

Sad news for the MMORPG community today as it was just confirmed that LEGO Universe will be closing its game on January 31st, 2012. The team says that in spite of very positive player feedback and a large number of players in the free play zone, LEGO Universe has been unable to convert a satisfactory number of players to paying subscribers.

Jesper Vilstrup, Vice Present of LEGO Universe notes that, "Right now, we have almost 2 million players in LEGO Universe. Unfortunately, we have not been able to build a satisfactory revenue model in our target group, and therefore, have decided to close the game." The LEGO Universe team notes that it will not give up on developing a digital platform, and they will continue to look for partners to create a digital LEGO experience. It has been confirmed that this will affect all 115 employees working at the Play Well Studios in Louisville, Colorado, and LEGO Universe's marketing function in Billund, Denmark. Good luck to all those affected!

Ninjago Expansion Spins Into LEGO Universe

LEGO Universe's massive Ninjago expansion is now live, and it's free for premium members. The new Ninjago Monastery zone is under attack by a Skeleton army led by the evil Lord Garmadon, and players will need to master the four types of Spinjitzu (Earth, Lightning, Ice and Fire) to protect one of the game's biggest worlds.

The Ninjago expansion raises the level cap to 45 and adds more than 100 new missions to the game, as well as new gear and items. In addition, the Ninjago Monestary zones feature a variety of areas and games:

  • Ninjago Battlefield: The Skeletons are attacking the Monastery, and players need to smash them by building Archery Targets to launch volleys of Imagination-tipped arrows.
  • The Monastery Courtyard: Inside the Monastery’s fortified walls, things are a little more peaceful. You’ll find some familiar friends as well as some brand-new Ninjago characters and vendors.
  • The Four Gardens of Spinjitzu: Explore peaceful, mysterious gardens of Earth, Lightning, Ice and Fire. Each one contains a different puzzle, and you'll need to master them to claim the protective Dragon Relics for Sensei Wu.
  • The Four Dojos of Spinjitzu: Cole, Jay, Zane and Kai await you in four Dojos, each one devoted to a different element of Spinjitzu. And each Dojo contains its own set of traps, platforming challenges and multiplayer puzzles in the Attics up above.
  • The Ninjago Caverns: It’s Skeletons vs Ninjas, and the prize is definitely worth fighting for: the Weapons of Spinjitzu!
  • Frakjaw Battle!: Frakjaw is trying to claim the Sword of Fire. Luckily, you can bring up to 3 friends to face him down in this epic boss battle instance.

ZAM Examines LEGO Universe's Free-to-Play Option

Show of hands: who among you did not play with LEGOs as a kid? In that case, I'm sorry... but you have the opportunity to make up for your loss now that LEGO Universe has gone free-to-play! Well... kind of. I had to a chance to see exactly what “F2P” meant in the LEGO-verse; and a chance to see what it did not mean as well. More after the jump!

LEGO Universe to Host Nexon Force Championships

LEGO Universe is celebrating its first anniversary in October, and the team is marking the occasion by hosting the 2011 Nexus Force Championships. During next month's 12-week event, players will compete in Battling, Racing and Building competitions to earn Championship Points. The player who earns the most points will win more than $5,000 in LEGO sets, a new computer and more!

In addition, high-ranking players will earn a title for being the champion of their server. The Faction with the most points at the end of the Championship season will also win a special prize in a 2012 update. Lastly, a special limited-time Mission chain will be available for all members of the Nexus Force ending with a special commemorative wand to help celebrate the event!

In other LEGO Universe news, the LEGO group will be showcasing the game at the Pepcom Holiday Spectacular on September 14 in New York City.

LEGO's Free-to-Play Option is Officially Live

LEGO Universe technically released its free-to-play option last week with the launch of the game's new leveling system, but the team is officially announcing the free option today. It's actually best to think of the feature as an endless free trial because it gives you access to the game's first two zones and one property area. If you want to explore the rest of the game, you'll have to upgrade to a paid membership account.

Here's what you can do for free in LEGO Universe:

  • Create and customize your own LEGO Universe hero
  • Collect up to 10,000 coins
  • Earn U-Score to level up
  • Explore the Starship Venture Explorer
  • Explore Avant Gardens
  • Join the Nexus Force
  • Sample powerful Faction Gear
  • Play the Survival mini-game
  • Battle the Spider Queen
  • Build and bring your creations to life on your own Block Yard Property
  • Visit thousands of other players’ Properties
  • Buy and collect cool gear and useful items

While LEGO Universe isn't truly free-to-play, this endless free trial option gives players a great opportunity to try out the game for as long as they'd like and decide if they want to upgrade their account to see what else the kid-friendly MMO has to offer. Click here to download LEGO Universe for free!

LEGO Launches Leveling System, Free-to-Play Option

LEGO Universe's Power of the Nexus Force update just launched and brings with it the new level progression system! Since the game launched in October 2010, players advanced their characters simply by obtaining gear and completing achievements. With the release of today's patch, LEGO Universe has adopted a more traditional MMO leveling model by allowing players to rise up to level 40. At certain milestone levels, players will earn rewards such as backpack slots, an owl companion, a permanent speed boost and new equipment.

Speaking of equipment, the Power of the Nexus Force update adds new Faction Kits and Valiant Capes to the game. There's also a new instance in Avant Gardens that features a battle with the Spider Queen (seen above).

In other LEGO Universe news, the game's limited free-to-play option is now live! Think of it as an unlimited free trial. If you're curious about the new leveling system, now's the perfect time to try out LEGO Universe for free!

Leveling System Coming to LEGO Universe

LEGO Universe is getting a leveling system in the next few weeks! Once this change is implemented, your minifigure will actually gain levels as you complete missions and achievements. At certain milestone levels (like 5, 10, and 15), players will earn rewards such as backpack slots, an owl companion, a permanent speed boost and new equipment.

Speaking of equipment, all in-game items will be receiving a level requirement. For example, the Visored Racing Helmet has a level requirement of 20, the Crux Planet Shield has a level requirement of 25, and the Spike Hammer has a level requirement of 30. Any items that have already been linked to your minifigure will not be restricted to the level requirements.

Once the new leveling system goes live, all existing minifigures will automatically have their level calculated based on the amount of U-Score points they've earned by completing missions and achievements. If you're already a LEGO Universe player, you'll have to wait for the update to see what level you've obtained.

This news follows the LEGO Group's recent announcement that a free-to-play option is coming to the game in August. According to the press release, "The LEGO Universe free-to-play experience will offer a limited selection of game content, including two adventure zones and one player property area for building their own virtual LEGO models."

LEGO Universe to Offer Limited Free-to-Play Option

The LEGO Group announced today that it will be releasing a free-to-play option in LEGO Universe in August. According to the press release, "The LEGO Universe free-to-play experience will offer a limited selection of game content, including two adventure zones and one player property area for building their own virtual LEGO models."

The LEGO Group states in the press release that the game "will continue to generate revenue through paid memberships, and there are no plans for micro-transactions at this time." With that in mind, it might be best to think of this free-to-play option as an endless free trial.

Also, players will no longer need to invest in the game DVD to play LEGO Universe. The game will be available via free digital download only, which will allow it to "expand more efficiently."