LEGO’s three Legends of Chima games will make you want to say “Thundercats, Ho!”
I like Legos – don’t get me wrong – but, when I peruse the toy aisle, all I see are hundreds of themed box sets that don’t have much to do with the creativity of building with blocks. I suppose there’s more money to be made in licensed Star Wars or Batman sets, and it can’t be denied the mashup of Lego and other IPs in the videogames by Traveller’s Tales (TT) has been a commercial and critical success. The Danish blockmaker is now betting that same magic will work for its own IP – starting with a three-pronged attack using the new Legends of Chima universe. First up is LEGO Legends of Chima: Speedorz, racing game playable on a browser and on iOS devices out now. This summer will follow up with a handheld title called Laval’s Journey on the Vita and 3DS, and finally a kid-friendly MMO LEGO Legends of Chima Online developed by WB Games Montreal due out this fall.
The details on Legends of Chima are a little sparse but it’s a fantasy universe in which there are different tribes of magical animals with human-like features. The prominent character seems to be the Lion-O-like Laval and his battle against evil lizard creatures. Pretty standard, really.
WB Games thinks developing three games are the same time is the definition of innovation. “We are doing something innovative with LEGO Legends of Chima by making three distinct videogame experiences on a variety of platforms,” said Samantha Ryan, a Warner Bros. executive. “By creating multiple LEGO videogame experiences for one brand, we are catering to today’s diverse gaming community, as well as establish[ing] a rewards system for players of all three games.”
Linking the three titles through a combined fantasy universe and system of rewards sounds cool and all, but is there an audience for LEGO games for an unestablished IP? I suppose we’ll find out.