...the company has signed a license agreement with the LEGO Group, one of the world’s most successful manufacturers of play materials, to develop a massively multiplayer online game based on the hugely popular LEGO® Minifigures franchise.
Of all the things I expected to read today, that sentence ranks as slightly more unexpected than 'moon is actually an egg' but slightly less unexpected than 'Dreamfall Chapters to release tomorrow; Kinect exlusive'. More on the announcement below.
There's surely space for a Lego MMO handled competently and concentrating on the aspects of Lego that people actually enjoy. It's interesting that the Minifigures are mentioned as the licensed franchise, which does make wonder if it's the variety of setting and appearance of the characters that Funcom will be playing with, rather than the building possibilities latent in the bricks themselves. What else can we glean from a simple press release about a game on which development has not even begun?
To The Glean Machine.
The massively multiplayer online game that Funcom will develop based on the LEGO® Minifigures franchise will focus on maximum accessibility. Funcom and the LEGO Group will work together to make the game available to consumers in their online channels and will be coordinating activities to provide a broad and enhanced experience for the product line. The game will be a prominent part of the LEGO® Minifigures online experience which already has millions of unique visitors per month.
The machine immediately sniffs out the words "online channels" and a small siren sounds at its rear. "Calm down, boy, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll have to put your face in a book to play." It's no good though. The machine whimpers and it's glowing proboscis flinches as it continues to scan the press release. It twitches unhappily when it reaches the words "online experience" before powering down with a clockwork shudder, tendrils of acrid smoke creeping from its innards.
Fie, The Glean Machine, you should not jump to judgement with such obvious haste and distaste. While the whiff of social gaming may indeed emanate from those words, we are still in the dark as to the how, when, what and why. We just know the 'who'. Funcom and Lego. Oh, and "children and youngsters" because, unlike The Secret World with its violence and very occasional sexy times, the Minifigure game will, expectedly, be family-friendly.