Earlier this morning rumors surfaced that NetDevil had suffered a round of layoffs. We can now confirm that the reason behind the action is that NetDevil parent company Gazillion Entertainment has agreed to sell its development rights of LEGO Universe to the LEGO Group. According to a recent press release, a majority of the LEGO Universe development team has been offered the chance to continue employment with LEGO Group.
Gazillion will continue to focus on in-house development and publishing of browser delivered games. Additionally, the release states that Gazillion will move NetDevil's other projects to a new location. Check out the full press release below.
LEGO Group Acquisition of LEGOÂ® Universe Game AnnouncedÂ
Gazillion Sells Rights to the LEGO Group; LEGOÂ® Universe Development and Operations to Continue in Louisville, Colorado
SAN MATEO, Calif. Â [February 24, 2011] Â Gazillion Entertainment and LEGO System A/S jointly announced today that Gazillion agreed to sell its rights in the development of the LEGOÂ® Universe massively-multiplayer online game to the LEGO Group, Â the publisher of the game. The majority of LEGO Universe development team members, formerly part of GazillionÂs NetDevil subsidiary, have been offered employment by the LEGO Group, who will continue game development and operations from the current Louisville, Colorado studio.
WeÂre excited about the launch of LEGO Universe, and are happy to have the developers officially join the LEGO team,Â said Jesper Vilstrup, Vice President at the LEGO Group. ÂThis acquisition demonstrates our commitment both to the ongoing success of LEGO Universe and to an overall strategy to expand our brand online.Â
ÂGazillionÂs focus is developing, operating, and publishing the next generation of browser-delivered games,Â said David Brevik, Gazillion Entertainment President and COO.Â ÂWeÂre proud of the game our team built, and are certain that it has a bright future. The transition of members of our team to the LEGO Group enables us to focus completely on internally-published, free-to-play game businesses.Â
LEGO System A/S entered into a work-for-hire relationship with NetDevil to build LEGO Universe in 2006. In 2008, Gazillion Entertainment acquired NetDevil. The acquisition of the rights to the game and the ability to transition members of the team to continue work on the game follows the fulfillment of the LEGO Universe development contract. Gazillion will move its other NetDevil projects to a new location.
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About LEGO Systems A/S
The LEGO Group is a privately held, family-owned company, based in Billund, Denmark. It was founded in 1932 and today the group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of play materials for children. The company is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities through its products, which can be purchased in more than 130 countries. Visit www.LEGO.com
LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of The LEGO Group.Â Â© 2011 The LEGO Group.
About Gazillion Entertainment
Gazillion Entertainment is a privately held developer and publisher of free-to-play online games for everyone. GazillionÂs games feature revered brands and original properties, superior production quality and unmatched gameplay. Gazillion Entertainment is headquartered in San Mateo, California.Â For more information on Gazillion Entertainment and its studios please visit www.gazillion.com.