Parallel Worlds: How did LEGO Dimensions come crashing down?

Jack Ridsdale

By Jack Ridsdale

November 15th 2017 at 4:17PM
UPDATED November 15th 2017 at 4:25PM
Parallel Worlds: How did LEGO Dimensions come crashing down?

Despite its undeniable potential the toys to life genre has slowly died a death, but just why have these ambitious projects failed?

While popularised in my life by the superb sci-fi video game Bioshock Infinite, the multiverse theory was actually first devised in 1952 by Erwin Schro?dinger, the Austrian physicist who’s fame would soon be eclipsed by none other than his own cat.

It was undoubtedly the quality associated with the LEGO brand that helped the project gain a foothold in the market, however it was this dedication to quality that may have ended up leading to Dimension’s downfall. In order for the minifigures compatible with the game to fall in line with LEGO’s other output, production costs were high, which meant that the less popular sets would end up dragging down profit margins as they succumbed to discounting.

Perhaps in another dimension, Warner Brothers decided to produce lower-quality figures, for the game and the audience was willing to accept this change for the sake of a more innovative in-game experience.

So with black holes swallowing up all of the top toys to life franchises, will game developers have to break the fabric of time and space to make their toys to life projects a reality?

Perhaps these large franchises were simply too big to fit within this fairly niche subgenre? Smaller projects like Beast of Balance have had no problem finding an audience, and despite the negativity surrounding it, Ubisoft’s Starlink may yet be a success.

Dimensions was always on the back foot in a crowded market. 

Jack Ridsdale

You don’t have to be Einstein to understand that the current business model of toys to life is dead, but somewhere in the multiverse it is alive, well and adapting to the time. Alternatively, if we adopt Schro?dinger's stance, we could just ignore the damn box and live blissfully unaware of the fate of this cat.

The theory states that the world as we know it is only one of an infinite number of realities that exist in parallel, where every scientific possibility plays out simultaneously. It’s the kind of heady science fiction idea that is prime fodder for game franchises, which is where we get to LEGO Dimensions.

Undoubtedly there are a few developers at TT Games thinking wistfully of an alternate universe right now as Warner Bros. has officially canned the almost popular toys-to-life game platform.

There is a myriad of reasons one could attribute to the game’s closure. Warner Brothers was late to the party with Dimensions. Launching in 2015, it was some four years after Skylander’s debut which popularised the genre and a year after Disney’s equally ill-fated Disney Infinity. It was always going to be a tough ride, Dimensions was already on the back foot, tasked with building a fan base in a genre that was already starting to look over-crowded.