The Internet always gets what it wants. You may remember Mojang was looking at working with Lego for physical building block concepts last year. Well, an overwhelming show of support from Mojang’s fans has persuaded Lego to officially announce development of Minecraft branded building sets. The Cuusoo blog confirmed today that the Minecraft project passed the Lego review which determines whether the product development is feasible or not. The indie developer’s brand will grace the shelves of retailers worldwide in the future.
The story of the Minecraft/Lego meld—a partnership that seems perfectly sensible—begins with Lego’s international launch of the Cuusoo platform, which was previously a Design-To-Order process exclusive to Japan. Users basically submit designs for their dream building sets, and those designs get officially adopted by Lego if 10,000 people pledge support. Previous winners include the Shinkai 6500, a deep sea diving sub, and the Hayabusa; both only needing 1,000 votes within Japan in order to be adopted. Winners receive a 1 percent royalty from sales.
Minecraft fans Koalaexpert and suparMacho saw the potential for Lego sets and began submitting designs. Eventually Mojang stepped in with an official submission and agreed to collaborate with the original builders if the project passed the 10,000-supporter threshold. All three agreed to donate Lego Cuusoo royalties to charity.
The Minecraft project passed the test in record time; the news went viral and hit 10,000 supporters worldwide within only 48 hours. To put that in perspective, the second successful Cuusso project needed 57 days to get to 1,000, and the Shinkai 6500 submarine took 420 days to reach the necessary votes. Cuusoo is currently in beta, and so it was blindsided by the fans’ passion; Minecraft’s fervent supporters are credited with three server outages.Lego seems quite excited by the prospect: “We are now developing a concept that celebrates the best aspects of building with the [Lego] system and in Minecraft and we can’t wait to show it to you—but we aren’t ready just yet.” However, the company’s announcement stresses that the building sets may not see production any time soon.
Perhaps the one who should be most excited is Markus Persson, also know as ‘Notch‘. The Minecraft creator has previously stated that growing up with Legos may have “subconsciously” inspired him to create the game, and that the two together are a “perfect match.” Persson was not personally involved in the discussion, however, he did say, “one thing I personally think would be ridiculously awesome in the long-term would be to get Minecraft character shaped Minifigures.”
But probably more exciting for Notch will be the free global promotion Minecraft will be receiving thanks to the partnership. As Wired’s Daniel Donahoo puts it, this is a “startup fairytale.” Though, the indie world-building game has done well for itself so far with its millions of digital copies sold and its 20 million subscribers, a wider reach is always good.