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Lego Group accquires Lego Universe MMO and its developers

Thursday, 24th February 2011 14:59 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Gazillion Entertainment president David BreviK has told Joystiq that The Lego Group has acquired the MMO Lego Universe along with most of the NetDevil developers who part of the project.

According to Brevik, NetDevil had already started Lego Universe as a work-for-hire project before the studio was originally purchased by Gazillion.

“The transition of members of our team to the Lego Group allows us to conclude the work-for-hire segment of NetDevil’s business and lets us expand our internally-published, free-to-play game businesses,” said Brevik. “We’re proud of the Lego Universe game that our team built, and we are certain that it has a bright future.”

A “minor staff reduction” at NetDevil was confirmed as well, with most of the staff being “retained by Lego,” reports Joystiq, while NetDevil devs not working on the Lego game will continue with Fortune Online and whatever is going on with Jumpgate Evolution.

NetDevil’s animator Toby Cochran posted on his blog earlier today that staff members at NetDevil were being laid off, and alerted to the redundancies via Facebook posts, followed up by formal phones calls later in the day.

“I personally think it’s pretty terrible to find news out that way and not to be correctly notified,” he wrote. “We all were receiving phone calls tonight and I just got mine about 2 hrs ago.

“From what we’ve been told a handful of artists will be kept on board and continue working on Lego Universe. But at the moment that will be a very, VERY small team. As the count continues to rise on Facebook, they’ve cut over 20 people.”

NetDevil was acquired by Gazillion in 2008, and the firm raised over $60 million in 2010 towards MMO development.

Thanks, GI.biz.

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