Before we start, we want to make sure that everyone is clear on one thing: we love the many LEGO games to come out of TT Games, including LEGO Dimensions. It’s why we have this website. LEGO games bridge the gap between new and old generations of gamers, all while entertaining the youngest and the oldest, fostering communication and real world interactions while you play side by side with couch friendly co-op.
It’s this love of the games that brings us to this article, and it pains us when we have to share this type of news.
Short disclaimer: This information was given to us by some very trusted sources, but it should, like all things like this, be taken with a grain of salt. The info we are about to share was given to us at great professional risk — and we don’t take that lightly — but know that until we get an official and definitive word from the teams at WB Games and TT Games, this is all unconfirmed (yet very trustworthy) info.
The End Of Toys To Life
We at Bricks To Life have lived through one toys-to-life cancellation in the past with our Disney Infinity website. At the time, Disney Infinity was the first giant to fall in the toys-to-life community, and while the writing was all over the walls, most of us wanted to turn a blind eye to it, keeping hopeful that things would turn around.
Then came the rumors of the cancellation of Skylanders, after it was announced that Vicarious Visions will be working with Bungie on the Destiny series, and no new Skylanders games were announced for 2017. It seemed like Dimensions was the last bastion in the crumbling experimental toys-to-life genre of gaming.
The promise of LEGO Dimensions was a solid 3 years of gaming fun, packed into one $100 starter pack. This promise was made repeatedly during the first year of press touring, and was reinforced during the second year of press outings. Unfortunately, that promise isn’t looking good.
Early this year, we saw the release of Wave 7.5 for Dimensions, and we all eagerly waited for some drop of information about Wave 8. At Harry Potter Celebration in January, Hermione was announced as available in March, and the community at large was pacing with excitement to see when the rest of the wave would formally be announced.
Then that announcement came, and our expected March release date was pushed to May. There was a lot of head-scratching behind that, because May was typically the end of their release cycle, and we still had more Year 2 content to follow. When would it be released? July? August?
Then an in-game update followed which gutted some of the level spots in the in-game selection menu. Why was content being removed from the game? Why did level slots sit in the game, giving us the impression of six Year 2 levels, when only four were ever planned?
Our suspicions were obviously piqued, and we began asking around to see what was going on behind the scenes. That’s when we were contacted by some people who work closely with the game, and they gave us some devastating news.
The Quiet Cancellation Of LEGO Dimensions
In 2015, when LEGO Dimensions was being rolled out, the possibilities were endless in the eyes of TT Games and WB. They had good reason to be optimistic; the game itself featured some of the best ideas from other toys-to-life games, with an incredible (and almost endless) lineup of IPs that stretched from cartoons to movies to gaming. We at Bricks To Life have been on record saying that this was the toys-to-life game to beat.
For two years, the development slate at TT Games was almost entirely focused on LEGO Dimensions. It was their main show pony, and took all the attention. The game was massive, and required hard work from many of the teams inside TT Games. The size and scope of the game was a lot to organize and run, but the end result was a wildly entertaining game. The idea was to make this game the infinite focus of TT, using it as the ultimate platform to roll out every large title moving forward.
Fast forward to 2017. The new year has come, and TT Games holds a company meeting to review the upcoming gaming slate for 2017 and beyond. LEGO Dimensions went from the largest, highest priority spot on the lineup to barely a footnote, shadowed by new and more promising projects. Overnight, it seemed the game went from being top dog to bottom rung.
While the game hasn’t been formally cancelled, it’s been moved to the back burner of TT Games’s large, constantly-cooking stove top of LEGO gaming franchises. Teams are being mostly reassigned onto new projects, and development has slowed to a crawl. It’s been marked for dead, and it doesn’t look like there is any coming back.
It appears TT Games’s goal is to put off the “official” cancellation of the game for as long as they can until the time comes when they have no other option but to announce it. They already seem to be stretching their content out long after its original release date to make it look like there is still more to look forward to, when ultimately they are just prolonging the cancellation announcement.
How Did We Get Here?
LEGO Dimensions entered the toys-to-life arena pretty late in the game, three or four years after most of the other titles had moved in and set up shop. What no one knew at the time was that they were walking into an already-dying gaming platform, where the money and interest from the community was already drying up.
Cost has consistently been a stumbling block for every toys-to-life game. The relatively hefty price tag of LEGO Dimensions, combined with the slinking interest in the toys-to-life genre, proved to be an inescapable problem. While most other toys-to-life games required you to pick up a new $40-60 pack each year, their peripheral add-on content was regularly on sale for $10-20.
Dimensions had a comparatively higher price tag. While the lowest-cost add-on packs sold for around $10, the highest-cost were in the realm of $35-50. For a fanbase already weary of spending hundreds of dollars on a year on new toys, that cost may have simply been too much.
This set the foundation for disappointing sales, paired with the overproduction of Year 1 packs (recently seen filling up bargain store shelves), and from the start, LEGO Dimensions had a very steep hill to climb up.
Now in 2017, when production should be ramping up in full swing for the final Year 3 of LEGO Dimensions, there is no new development. The lack of development isn’t the result of a lack of effort on the part of TT Games; franchises that they’ve been working with to bring at least some new Year 3 content have mostly dropped out.
All of this, is in addition to the internal struggles of the game, has caused the teams at TT Games a lot of frustration, scrambled schedules, and general disorder and chaos surrounding certain elements of the game.
The Good News
I think it’s important here not to put the entire blame on TT Games. They worked very hard on LEGO Dimensions, and helped create something wonderful.
It’s clear that they continued to work hard at this game, even well into recruiting and developing content for Year 3, but things continued to fall apart around them. The death of toys-to-life as a whole is mostly to blame, as the community begins to slowly back away from the large, never-ending cost of playing these types of games.
But there is some good news behind all of this. With Dimensions out of the way, we will begin to see more full-fledged LEGO games coming out. No longer will large LEGO titles get a six-level treatment through a Story Pack.
Now, TT Games can go back to putting out two to four high quality, fully developed A+ LEGO games per year. If our sources are correct, this includes a full game based on a major Lego movie title, and a long-awaited follow-up to another hugely popular licensed title from a few years ago.
It’s important to remember that the toys you got out of LEGO Dimensions are unlike anything from any other toys-to-life game. These are real LEGO that work with all your other LEGO, and can be mixed in and added to the piles you likely already have.
And if you’re into purging your collection, well, the market for LEGO is better than ever, especially considering that some of the minifigures and pieces included in these sets are limited only to LEGO Dimensions.
While we are sad to see it go, we look forward to what amazing things TT Games will bring us next.
What’s Next For LEGO Dimensions
The remaining waves of packs will slowly be released until the end of the summer when Year 3 should have been kicking off. Dimensions isn’t done dropping surprises yet either. There’s still some magic left in the works, with characters from existing franchises yet to be announced and a Year 2 add on character that we’re certain will be a fan favorite.
We still have a lot to look forward to with this game and the many different adventure worlds and abilities we’ve yet to unlock. For the curious, we have a full article coming soon that will detail everything that Dimensions had planned for Year 3, and how the team was working hard to make it happen.
Remember, if you’re upset about this cancellation do not take it out on the team at TT Games. They did all they could to make good on their promise of three years of content. There’s no bag guys here; it seems the market simply found (and perhaps surpassed) the limit of what it could bear. Remember that moving forward, and try to remember that there are great things coming from TT Games, with some wildly fantastic full LEGO game titles!
As we write this nothing is completely in stone, but the outlook is grim. Miracles can and do happen, and the LEGO Dimensions format is something that may possibly work in the future on a digital only platform, but for now it seems our favorite game of the past few years will slowly fade away.
We reached out to Warner Brothers for a comment on this story and did not receive a response.
Have questions or comments? We will be hosting a live Q&A later today on our Youtube page (Disney Dan) and will try to answer all we can. You can reach out to us by leaving a comment here or on any of the social media links below!
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