The Lego Group has sent word that LEGO Universe will close down on January 31, 2012. Developers say that the free zone has met with positive player reactions but that not enough free players were converting to paying customers.
The LEGO Universe Online team has announced that the new content expansion will feature the LEGO Ninjago characters and locations.
LEGO Universe Online has officially opened the doors on the new unlimited Free Zone where players can game in two adventure zones and one building area. Players can take advantage of the Free Zone for as long as they wish but also have the option of purchasing a $10 monthly subscription to open up the rest of the game.
LEGO Universe players will want to check into the game to experience the new level progression system. Players will have the opportunity to level a bit faster, gain achievements and rewards for milestone levels and will be able to hit the new cap of level 40. Additionally, new factions, character capes and new quests will be arriving soon.
The LEGO Group has announced that LEGO Universe will be headed into the free to play market in August 2011. In addition, the game will be available via digital download rather than requiring the purchase of a boxed edition. Players will be able to enjoy the "Free Zone" for an unlimited amount of time or can purchase a monthly premium membership for $10/month.
Former lead developer for LEGO Universe, Ryan Seabury, has penned an open letter outlining three reasons he will never develop another MMO again. Seabury cites the necessity of "social features" as a drawback as well as too-long development timelines and creative exhaustion as instrumental in his decision to avoid MMO development in the future.
LEGO Universe factions have completed the construction of the Nexus Tower. With its completion, developers will be opening its doors soon with a bunch of new content to celebrate. The new content will feature new characters, weapons, Faction-specific pets, and over 50 new missions. Additionally, players will have access to the new LEGO Universe Vault system for safe-keeping extra models and gear.
The LEGO Universe team has announced that a major update will be deployed sometime next week. The update will feature a cooperative building activity, a new racetrack and racing vehicles, bigger property plus in addition to new models, missions and rewards.
Earlier this week it was announced that Cryptic Studios CEO John Needham was stepping down to "pursue other gaming options". Gazillion Entertainment has announced that Needham has been named its new CEO. Gazillion has published LEGO Universe, is working on Marvel Superhero Squad Online and Jumpgate Evolution among other projects.
LEGO Universe Online players will have a new and challenging zone to play in with the opening of the Crux Prime area. Crux Prime brings a Ninjago storyline to the game to coincide with last month's release of the Ninjago toys to retailers worldwide.