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MMOs most "socially significant" entertainment - Lego

VP of Digital Play Studios on why the "next step of the evolution" of the Lego brand is online

Mark William Hansen, VP of Digital Play Studios - part of the Lego group - has told a packed conference session at GCDC that the MMO platform is a fundamental path for taking the Lego brand forwards.

"It's relevant to our users," he said as a justification for the company's decision to work on videogames. "Enabling the Lego community to experience one of the 21st century's most socially significant form of entertainment is the next step in the evolution of the brand."

Hansen also offered advice to anybody considering taking a brand online, drawing on Lego's experience of both websites and games over the past 12 years.

"We believe that our digital efforts - including [the forthcoming MMO] Lego Universe - are part of our back-to-core strategy," he said. "Don't move into a new game space for marketing purposes alone.

"Identify your core business and stick to it," he said. "Stay true to your brand essence when expanding - understanding the essence of a brand and moving with its audience without compromising that brand [is crucial]."

The Lego.com website is the 23rd most popular online presence for children with 16 million unique users per month. Webkinz was the most popular by some distance, followed by Club Penguin and Neokids.

Meanwhile work on the Lego Universe MMO is continuing, with the current schedule stating a release at around the end of 2009.

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