Tuesday, March 06, 2007

LEGO MMOG (that's a lot of capital letters) Announced

From The Escapist Daily, an announcement from LEGO that they have selected NetDevil to assist in the building of their upcoming MMOG/persistent environment. From The Escapist blurb:

"The LEGO brand represents construction, creativity, and problem solving, and the LEGO Group would like to develop new and engaging ways for fans to interact with the LEGO brand as children around the world spend more time online," said Lisbeth Valther Pallesen, the Executive Vice President, Community, Education, and Direct Division LEGO Group.

She went on to remark that the massively multiplayer online market can merge online social interaction and physical play which will provide new experiences for children and LEGO enthusiasts alike.

As LEGO already runs a highly successful family of websites/online games/online communities, not to mention the highly popular LEGO Star Wars games, they seem well suited to this particular type of endeavour. I'm pretty interested in the said "merging" of social interaction and physical play--presumably with real LEGO sets, which necessarily implies purchase. The LEGO games already represent a somewhat abstracted example of advergaming--while there is no doubt that there is massive branding and even UGC appropriation going on, it's been difficult to define how this is different from any other media-branded game or cross-media initiative. Is it enough that certain characters are present in a game to argue that it works to promote other products featuring those same characters or narratives? (I say yes!) Must there be a link to a specific set of products? (No, but it's easier to get other people on board when there is!) Branding is such a difficult issue in kids' media - it sometimes seems like there is little else out other than (cross-)branding.

In other news, the Corus/YTV MMOG is up and running, under the name GalaxSeeds, which you can check out here. I haven't played it yet, but will surely be blogging about it within the next few days.

1 comment:

Simon said...

Being an MMO and a Lego fan, with a young son - if they can pull this off it could make all my dreams come true :-) A game that I can play with him in a few years time, that allows him to explore the fun that is Lego, as well as the collaborative experience of an MMO. Can't wait :-)