LEGO Worlds

Could LEGO Worlds pull gamers away from the endless possibilities of Minecraft? We’re not sure..

A few days ago Warner Bros. Interactive and LEGO announced and subsequently released LEGO Worlds on Steam as an Early Access title and it’s immediately apparent this was released as a competitor and rival to the insanely popular Minecraft has taken the world by storm over the last few years. The big question a lot of people are asking is, will LEGO Worlds kill Minecraft?

Minecraft has sold approximately 60 million copies across all platforms as of October 10, 2014 making it the third best selling game of all time and it now reaches across almost every platform including computers, consoles, handhelds, phones and tablets. Not to mention last year it was bought by Microsoft for US$2.5 billion which goes to prove that LEGO Worlds has a lot to show if it wants to be better. Personally, I believe that Minecraft will not falter to LEGO Worlds in any way, shape or form. Lego Worlds is in early stages, so I’m not sure what it will become in the future, and nobody else can predict that either, but one can speculate a lot of things.

LEGO is a massive company and in that way, they have to follow a lot of constraints, something a small team doesn’t have to worry about. LEGO is a major brand for children’s toys, they can’t have the same creative freedom that a small indie studio does, and they never will. They have however, released a lot of fairly successful video games using already well known IP’s such as DC and Marvel comics, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings and the upcoming Jurassic World. They have a substantial foothold in the video game industry already, but will it help them? I think a lot of the success of the previous LEGO games comes from it’s reliance on already popular IP’s, and I don’t think this is going to translate into an open-world crafting game.

Another thing that made Minecraft popular is that it doesn’t need a beast of computer to play, the filesize is tiny and it can run on almost anything. I fondly remember playing it on my Acer netbook (at about 15fps though) while I was at boarding school in 2011, because it was the only device I was allowed at the time. LEGO Worlds however needs a fairly decent PC to run and it’s currently only available through Steam, although that is more than likely to change eventually, but it simply won’t have the same reach as Minecraft has. LEGO Worlds is also around 10GBs, something you can’t generally store on a USB stick and plug in to play.

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I think the biggest setback for LEGO Worlds is that it’s just too late to the party to make any impact. Minecraft is currently in the middle of, or even passed its peak, when the first public release for Minecraft was 2009 and it’s full version was released in 2011. LEGO was too busy during this period, flogging its dead horse known as LEGO Universe to notice what it could have been doing. Too much money was spent on moderating its massive multiplayer world for miscreants building penises to realise the opportunities that could have been taken, and this is again why being part of a larger company can have its downfalls. I truly think LEGO has left it too late for themselves to cash in on this area. Minecraft already has the player base and the accessibility all in place. It’s just too damn late.

Unfortunately in our world inundated with voxel-based survival crafting games, LEGO Worlds has the powerful brand behind it and a lot of promise, but it simply cannot compete with Minecraft. It may prove to be the new Minecraft, for a while at least, but it will never come anywhere close to “killing” it. That being said, it is very new and much too early to tell what may become of it, but I don’t think a game will storm the world like Minecraft has for a long time.

Good luck LEGO, and godspeed.

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Dan Breen

The Minecraft purchase by Microsoft will go down as one of the dumbest purchases of all time. Notch was a genius to relieve M$ of that cash.