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|LEGO® → Video Games → LEGO Universe|
LEGO Universe, also known as "LU" by players, launched a free to play version in the summer of 2011. It allowed players to download and play through the first two worlds of the game, Venture Explorer and Avant Gardens, for absolutely no cost and no time restrictions. The free trial allowed players to try the game (without some of the benefits, including chatting), and purchase it whenever they felt like (to get the full experience). Low sales was the reason for the formation of a free trial.
LEGO Universe was closed on January 30, 2012, after failing to meet sales expectations. The game had already incorporated a Ninjago theme, and was planning to undergo an update featuring the Kingdoms theme. However, this content was never seen in-game.
The LEGO Universe story begins when four explorers - Duke Exeter, Doc Overbuild, Hael Storm, and Baron Typhonus - set out to find a source of rare power. They find the Imagination Beam, the long lost essence of pure imagination that could create anything imagined, on a cube-shaped planet called Crux. Hael imagined a pirate ship, Duke imagined a large kingdom, and Dr. Overbuild imagined a robot dog, but the Baron had become chaotic during the long travel and imagined a creature of pure evil.
The Imagination Beam creates the monster, but the Baron's attempt to rule the universe through chaos failed and the creature dragged him inside the Imagination Beam. The Imagination Beam was corrupted by the Baron's evil and mutated into a strong and destructive Maelstrom. Dr Overbuild sealed the Imagination Beam, but the pressure inside Crux made the planet explode. The smaller chunks were colonized but the bigger ones became the locations in the game.
The explorers sent a message to all the minifigures to use their creative powers to save imagination. The three remaining explorers founded the factions of Sentinel, Assembly, and the Venture League. The Paradox faction was founded by the Baron's assistant, Vanda Darkflame.
- Venture Explorer
- Avant Gardens
- Nimbus Station
- Pet Cove
- Gnarled Forest
- Forbidden Valley
- Crux Prime
- Club Station Alpha
- Property Worlds
- Starbase 3001
- Nexus City
- Nexus Tower
- Ninjago Monastery
- Fire Temple
Development and production of the game began around 2007. It was chosen by LEGO to be created through the collaboration of NetDevil, an MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) development team, and the LEGO Group. The game would be the next big step in LEGO gaming, as it would allow countless people, by the thousands, to interact with each other simultaneously in one game. This would also be LEGO's first MMOG.
The game allowed players to create their own Minifigures and control them with the mouse, touchpad, and/or keyboard. These minifigures could build creations in three ways: Quick Building, where a minifigure can quickly build a pre-determined model; Modular Building, where a minifigure can build a model by using different pre-built pieces of it (the pieces have different variations, which allows for many different combinations); and Free Building, where minifigures can use thousands of bricks to create whatever they like. However, Free Building is only allowed on designated properties. The worlds in the game are always evolving, through both monthly patches (updates) and the players' creations.
One of the biggest missions for the LEGO Group in this game was to create a safe environment for children, due to LEGO having a large target audience of children. The game allowed players to create, build, quest and socialize together in a safe environment. Using state-of-the-art technologies, chat filters strain out certain profane words and only let words in the game's dictionary through.
The game had been through an Alpha stage of testing by the employees of LEGO, their families, and the LEGO Kid's Inner Circle. These testers had to sign a Declaration of Secrecy to play it, which meant they could not reveal any information about it other than say they were testing it. The game has endured many scraps and countless revisions during closed-BETA testing as well.
During the course of production, the LEGO Universe Website has been updated with challenges in the Creation Lab, videos, pictures, news updates, and safety information. There are many different sections of the creation lab, which is still running after LEGO Universe's closure.There has also been a promotion on the website in the form of LEGO Pods landing on Earth at LEGO Retail Stores. The Bradford Rant Institute of Cosmis Kinesis' (B.R.I.C.K.) website is dedicated to the LEGO pods, which contain information about the minifigures from LEGO Universe. The website contains several screenshots from the game and a "message" from the minifigures in LEGO Universe. All 7 pods have landed and they contain letters of a message from the minifigures, which has been "deciphered" to mean: "Answer the call to save imagination." This has evolved into 20 minigames on the LEGO Universe LEGO.com site called "The Great Minifig Mission.", which revealed story items about the game.
The game was officially launched on October 26, 2010 with early access available for those who pre-ordered the game on October 12th, 2010. However, this date was changed to 8th a week before it was ready for founders launch. The pre-order item number 2855133 was changed to 55000.
- Creation Lab
- The Maelstrom
- Baron Typhonus
- Murgle Blotch
- Roo Morgg
- Kinga Hurl
- Grim Daisho
- Spider Queen
- Spider Boss
- Whack Bliddo
- Gull Rawstew
- Vargas the Tormented
- Muffet Bane
- Admiral Flogmore
- Talli Reeko
- The Four Riders of the Maelstrom
- My LEGO Network
- Duke Exeter
- Epsilon Starcracker
- Commander Beck
- Melodie Foxtrot
- Bullet Mullet
- Kurt Tussle
- Theo Balfour
- Bronson Jarls
- Brannan Landars
- Dirk Manleigh
- Hael Storm
- Sky Lane
- Johnny Thunder
- Captain Jack Knife
- Billy Ganges
- Hugo First
- Wen Wuzzit
- Johnny Thunder
- Renee Tombchrusher
- Trek Furino
- Velocity Lane
- Sensei Wu
- Sakura Moonstone
- Rocco Sirocco
- Jojo Mojojodo
- Bubu Mummu
- Wan Wan
- Dizzy Dinkins
- Milo Snackpigeon II
- Johnny Umami
- Cringe Lo
- Kodo Pandaheart
- Podo Pandaheart
- Tomoko Moonstone
- Toshira Gojira
- Furious Urufu
- Hari Howzen
- Bozu Ruku
- Classic Ninja
- Captain Jack Knife
- Rolly Jodger
- Diablo Phil
- Arrthur Arrbuckle
- Hugo First
- Robbie Jibhanger
- Gary Grogowitz
- Georgie Timbershivers
- Toby Squidbarrel
- Black-Hearted Kevin
- Swifty McGurk
Factions are large groups of minifigures, each of which protect the last shard of imagination and push back the Maelstrom in their own ways. They are Assembly, Venture League, Sentinels, and Paradox.
AssemblyAssembly - Guided by construction specialist Doc Overbuild, they battle the maelstrom using various creations. The Assembly Faction is the first of the 4 Nexus Force alliances. Their members believe that the act of creation naturally sets back the chaotic destructive nature of the Maelstrom. They are challenged to push the limits of imagination, exploring new styles and new ways of construction. They consider themselves to be the foundation of the Nexus Force. Even though they may not be as brave as the Sentinels or as daring as the Venture League, they are brilliant architects and clever engineers who are highly respected for their skills.
Their leader, the eccentric genius Doctor Overbuild, is very intelligent and similar to Albert Einstein. His passion is building and pushing the uses of imagination. He spends months at a time locked in his building laboratory, creating the visions in his head.
Venture LeagueVenture League - Space pirate Hael Storm's Venture League is a group of explorers who solve mysteries and look for answers. The Venture League is the second faction of the Nexus Force. Its members are a composition of adventurers and explorers who want to get to the bottom of all of the mysteries filling the Universe. Whether it's exploring the long-lost civilization of the First Builders or boldly going where no Minifigure has gone before, the Venture League is always the first to discover it.
Their leader, the cheerful pirate Hael Storm, has a great sense of humor and is always ready with a wisecrack. He's a born problem solver and in times of danger Storm will always rise to the challenge. His specialty is the sea and he is a seasoned explorer of all the oceans in the Universe.
Venture league is an adventurous group of Daredevils, Buccaneers, and Adventurers and their symbol is a skull in front of a compass.
SentinelsThe Sentinels - Legendary warrior Duke Exeter leads the Sentinels in the fight against the Maelstrom. The Sentinels are the third faction of the Nexus Force and their mission is to protect the weak, defend the good and serve justice to all. Integrity and honor are the core values of their operation and their heroic performance overshadows all evil.
Members of the Sentinels are the most powerful Minifigures of the Nexus Force. What they lack in pure imagination, they make up with strength and courageous willpower. They are known and respected as the most honorable warriors in the Universe.
Their leader, the charismatic and brave Duke Exeter, is an inspiration to everyone around him. He refuses to compromise his principles, and always finds a way to achieve victory with honor. Always trusting that the right will win, he's big on giving everyone second chances and is always prepared to take on challenges.
The Sentinels are a group of warriors consisting of Knights, Samurai, and Space Rangers. Their symbol is a bird, possibly a blue eagle.
ParadoxParadox - Ninja warrior Vanda Darkflame leads her group in using the Maelstrom's power against itself. Paradox is the fourth faction of the Nexus Force. Paradox members closely study the Maelstrom power in an effort to find the evil within it. They believe that the battlefield is no place for honor and use whatever means are necessary to achieve victory. Paradox has a reputation for being secretive about their operations. They are sneaky in their attacks and highly effective in all their disciplines. Though Paradox has never broken the trust of the other Factions, they are still looked upon suspiciously.
Their leader, the mysterious ninja warrior Vanda Darkflame, believes that defeating the Maelstrom requires understanding it and turning its power against it. She is cynical, decisive, and always fights for what she feels is right, no matter what anyone else may think about her methods.
Paradox is a group of Space Marauders, Shinobi, and Dark Sorcerers and their symbol is a slanted eye with a spiral behind it like the Paradox Galaxy.
- The game originally was scheduled to be released in 2009, but official release was delayed until 2010.
- In a LEGO Club Magazine, a code for access to an exclusive LEGO Club world was given away; however, the game code was incorrect and an apology was added in the next issue.
- The game was originally priced at $39.99, but was reduced to $19.99 due to low sales, then later reduced even further to $9.99. Shortly thereafter, the disc method was replaced with a free download of the patcher for the game.
- On March 25th, 2011, The LEGO Group gave out 10,000 free copies of the game with the Spring 2011 catalogue to VIP members who didn't yet have LEGO Universe.
- The game was closed on January 30, 2012.
- Near the end of the game, many random items and enemies were spawned by moderators such as medusas, horses, and Maelstrom ninjas, Uber Hammmers, and jetpacks.
|Currency||1 month||6 months||12 months|
The game was released as a DVD, and also as a download from the LEGO Universe Official Website. The cost of the game was based on a subscription model. The packages are US $9.99 for 1 month, $49.99 for 6 months ($8.35 per month), and $89.99 for 12 months ($7.50 per month). The North American release date was October 26, the European release date was October 22 with early access on October 8 for "pioneers", or "Founders", those had who pre-ordered the game. Those who pre-ordered the game also received an exclusive astronaut minifigure and an astronaut costume in-game. Pre-Ordering ended on September 27 for North America and on September 23 for Europe.
Three promotional sets promoting the game were released so far:
- 2853944 Astronaut (see also Nexus Force Astronaut), which was given out to those who pre-ordered the game in October. The polybagged set included a card with a code that would enable the astronaut uniform in the game itself.
- 55001 Universe Rocket, which was also given out in October. This set contained a code card which enabled the rocket in the game too.
- LEGO Universe Promotion 2008
Additionally, a guide to the game was released:
During the beta testing and live release of the game, contests were also held with rare and valuable prizes. As well as regular weekly competitions, the Nexus Championships was scheduled to be a lengthy contest in which all LEGO universe members, both free to play and subscription, could participate.