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Today Warner Bros. quietly launched LEGO Worlds, a Minecraft-like open-world crafting game developed by longtime LEGO game maker TT Games, on Early Access.
This is intriguing for a few reasons: it's the first time an official LEGO game has appeared on Early Access, and a rare example (for now, at least) of a AAA developer/publisher team pushing a game onto Early Access without warning. Codemasters did something very similar earlier this year when it surprise-launched Dirt: Rally on Early Access.
It's also the second time in recent months that WB has tried to put a LEGO-branded spin on a popular game (see the Skylanders-esque LEGO Dimensions).
However, as much as it seems to trade on design tenets popularized by Minecraft, LEGO Worlds has much in common with The Lego Group's LEGO Universe, a massively multiplayer game that WB operated between 2010 and 2012.
The game was shut down due to revenue issues, which Glass Bottom Games founder (and former LEGO Universe coder) Megan Fox claims was due at least in part to the massive cost of keeping it child-friendly when anyone could build pretty much whatever they liked in select zones of the world.