Sunday, August 12, 2012

Minecraft success shows missed opportunity for Lego

Lately my kids have been hooked on the video game Minecraft. They play it for hours on our family PC and iPad tablet.
Minecraft lets players create their own worlds using building blocks in a range of materials. At night, monsters come out and you can either fight them or hide in your shelter.
In April, Minecraft was awarded game of the year for 2011 by the National Academy of Video Game Testers and Reviewers.
Minecraft is like playing Legos in a virtual world. It’s a game that Lego should have developed. But Lego has focused its video games on licensed properties with mini-figures and stories based on hit movies like the “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” series.
Minecraft publisher Mojang submitted the concept of merchandise to Lego late last year and based on user support got a Lego product approved. It started selling a Lego Minecraft set in June. The $34.99 product is currently listed as sold out on Lego’s website. Entrepreneurs are selling the set on eBay and Amazon for twice that price.
Lego and Minecraft are a perfect match. When my kids aren’t playing the computer game, they’re building things with their Legos, including Minecraft scenes.
Privately held Lego Group, headquartered in Billund, Denmark, should buy Mojang, which is based in Stockholm, Sweden.
If Mojang is even for sale, that is.

Photos: Minecraft video game (top) and Lego Minecraft set.

Related stories:

An ‘Educational’ Video Game Has Taken Over My House (Slate; Aug. 6, 2012)

Lego releases the Minecraft set you’ve been waiting for (Yahoo Y! Tech; June 6, 2012)

Lego Minecraft Set is Available Right Now, Go Buy It (Geekosystem; June 6, 2012)

Mojang Working With Lego to Make Official Lego Minecraft Sets (Geekosystem; Dec. 5, 2011)

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