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Cuusoo issues ... LEGO respond

bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
edited December 2011 in Everything else LEGO
There have been a number of discussions here, and elsewhere in the online LEGO community, about issues with Cuusoo ... stuff like plagiarism, rubbish models (OK, poor quality control), idea 'squatting', the 'minecraft' issue, etc. ... and as you might expect it's been a bit of a hot topic of discussion between the Ambassadors & the Community team. In particular Paul Lee, of the 'Brick~Busters!' team, has identified a lot of models submitted to Cuusoo without the original creator's permission.

This has triggered some discussions internal to LEGO, with the Cuusoo team, who have passed this statement through the Ambassadors ...
Hi Everyone,

We’ve seen some comments and questions about the Minecraft project on various AFOL forums, so here’s a bit of background on it and how we view the project and idea. We’re going to post here instead of commenting online on the several places where there is discussion, this way we can focus our time on working on the platform instead of getting into multiple dialogues. Some people don’t like Minecraft, others don’t see how it would make a good LEGO product, and some are wondering how something got 10,000 votes so quickly. We’ve also heard peoples’ desires that CUUSOO would promote well-built MOCs as the next models.

LEGO CUUSOO is a place for people to share their ideas for potential new LEGO products. In response to Minecraft, Paal put it this way in the press release; “This is what LEGO CUUSOO is all about, connecting people’s passion to the LEGO brick.” While most Minecraft fans aren’t AFOLs, they are really passionate about Minecraft and happen to like LEGO products. So, CUUSOO worked just as intended here – a group of passionate people saw the opportunity to connect their interest to LEGO bricks, and we’ve identified a community with critical mass where we could produce products they would enjoy and buy.

Now we are looking to see if we can develop LEGO models which the Minecraft community would want, and that has the design quality that is expected of a LEGO product. If we succeed, we meet someone’s passion with a LEGO product and identify a new LEGO consumer – some of whom will become regular purchasers and still some who might become future AFOLs.

But how would Minecraft be a good LEGO product? Isn’t it redundant, and aren’t the blocky play set images out there just low-fi Basic sets, and wouldn’t using cubes be really unstable? Well, yes. We see the low-fi images of Minecraft models as representative of the idea of Minecraft themed LEGO products, and we know blocky play sets won’t work as products. What we do see is demand for LEGO products that celebrate the Minecraft game.

Any product given the green light through CUUSOO goes through an extensive design process with our model designers. So, it will never be exactly what is submitted (neither Shinkai or Hayabusa were that way; Hayabusa went through two major revisions to get to the final, and we’ll have news on that in the coming weeks). We’ll share bits and pieces of that process as models are produced through CUUSOO. If you’re concerned with quality of an eventual set, the designers evaluating Minecraft have backgrounds with LEGO Architecture, Blacktron I, and Space Police I, so any potential product is in very capable hands. We’re also collaborating with the two original users who created the project.

How did this happen so fast, when good models are only getting handfuls of votes? The quick answer is the Minecraft community is large, new, focused, and passionate (2 million Facebook fans/16 million players). We were taken off guard with this, and did not expect this kind of a surge in traffic to our platform that is still in beta. We’re looking at it as an amazing opportunity, though, and taking what we have learned to improve things for the future.

Here’s what happened: Someone put up a Minecraft project. Mojang (Minecraft creators) found it and thought it was cool, and they linked to it on Facebook and Twitter. Immediately traffic spiked and even brought down the site a couple times. Along the way there was the issue of ownership; the original poster uploaded someone else’s image and the project got popular with that image posted. We investigated and all agreed the route of making it a collaboration was best. It was clear that the Minecraft idea would gain critical mass, and we would need a license anyway. So, Mojang agreed to step in and work collaboratively on it with the users, and the users just wanted to see Minecraft happen and were happy to work together.

But what about this awesome MOC that totally deserves to be a LEGO product? As an AFOL myself, I know it’s a dream to think of your creation as an official LEGO product. In this case, the Minecraft community lacks in building skill but makes up for it in focus and passion. Think not just about building quality, but about connecting to your audience’s passion. There are a few dozen really great models on CUUSOO, with votes in the high hundreds and even in the 1000-1500 range, so it’s not impossible. Also think about what makes a good LEGO product (not just a good MOC). The game is still wide open. This is only the third CUUSOO product, and the first one on the global platform. So, get at it! J

CUUSOO isn’t just about getting great MOCs produced, it’s about connecting passion for an interest with the LEGO brick. As a business case, it’s about finding new markets for the company that we would otherwise overlook, and supporting them with data before we produce a product. We see the Minecraft opportunity as a good one. Star Wars brought in many, many new LEGO consumers and fans and 12 years on it is still a strong theme. Harry Potter, the Direct exclusives and LEGO Architecture are doing the same. Minecraft will only be a fraction of Star Wars’ success, but it is an opportunity to connect with another passionate fan community, so it’s worth exploring.

We learned a lot about the platform and user behavior through the Minecraft experience. Some of it we already knew intuitively, other things were new lessons that can only come after being overwhelmed with traffic of this nature. The experience either proved some assumptions and disproved others. We’re actively developing improvements to the platform itself, the rules, and the mechanics.

Specifically, we’re very aware of the rampant plagiarism of AFOLs’ creations. It isn’t cool at all to have a site where users do this, and the upcoming changes will have more explicit rules and make it difficult for users to plagiarize in the future by allowing for user reporting and easier/quicker administration. We believe that stamping out plagiarism and raising the project submission age to 18+ will improve the quality of models on CUUSOO so users don’t have to wade through junk. We’re also working on improvements to the sign up process, the process of submitting your first Project, and making it easier to find things on the site. We’re grateful to all of you for your help with suggestions and flagging plagiarism. We hope to have the site improvements online soon.

Hope this has addressed some of the main questions about CUUSOO and the Minecraft project.




  • avoiceoreasonavoiceoreason Member Posts: 224
    Very thoughtful response and answers most people's questions IMO. Glad to see TLG listens and responds.

    Certainly sounds like full-steam ahead with a Minecraft line doesn't it? I myself am still in the "What in the world is Minecraft?" camp.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    It certainly does come across like they are pretty close to green lighting a Minecraft line doesn't it.
  • MatthewMatthew Administrator Posts: 3,714
    I myself am still in the "What in the world is Minecraft?" camp.
    I'm with you there...
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    Minecraft is a game. This is the website: You can play an old version without installing anything for free here:
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    I've played it briefly but it didn't grab me. 17 million registered players, 4 million of which have paid for the game, suggests that I'm missing something...
  • andheandhe Member Posts: 3,942
    A great response which clears up a lot of the concerns people had.

    Maybe the main thing that seems to annoy AFOLs is that another community managed to achieve something (hit 10,000 votes) that we ourselves were not able to do, on our own territory.

    It should be a wake-up call that maybe we need to be pro-active as a community to get the sets we want made, now that TLG has given us a window of opportunity?
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    ^ They pretty well said as much, if you want it made, design something that appeals to a wide enough audience. Food for thought.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    I keep saying this, and this response supports my point, that LEGO is looking to expand its lineup into new markets. We tend to forget this and judge things from our own perspective, as members of the hardcore AFOL market. But for LEGO to sustain it's growth in popularity, it will need to appeal to as broad an audience as possible.
  • aplbomr79aplbomr79 Member Posts: 159
    edited December 2011
    My thought on the Minecraft/CUUSO) deal could be a great thing for all...

    First off, there was little in the way for TLG to designate a drawn-out process to create a new, revolutionary design (in terms of gathering support). It also offers a great opportunity for more people to become AFOLs and supporters of the LEGO brand.

    Second, if TLG offers this set (and possibly more), it offers us AFOLs to get large amounts of much wanted bricks for our own usage. Bonus.

    Third, if the Minecraft theme succeeds, then TLG would be willing to look into new ventures that would, in turn, benefit our community.

    Finally - piggy-backing off of my first thought: If LEGO did not do this, why wouldn't some other (sub-species building block) company not bite? Theoretically, this COULD propel another brand to the heights of LEGO, if only for a brief time. Imagine what that would do for LEGO market-share....

    I have to admit, at first I was not understanding the want for a LEGO product from the Minecraft community. However, after my post on CUUSOO and my discussions with my students, the wind has hit my sails with a new direction.

    My final thought is this: if the interest in LEGO is not growing, we AFOLs will in turn be negatively affected. If the LEGO brand is not growing, what does that mean for us AFOLs? I for one do not wish to pay more for less LEGO - nor do I wish to see the LEGO brand diminished.
  • asherkobinasherkobin Member Posts: 194
    I think maybe the idea is not a MOC, but a new way to use LEGO. Think about the LEGO table games. What an amazing new market. If someone came up with that idea on CUUSOO before LEGO did, I'm sure it would have won. So perhaps we're looking at the possible Minecraft license in the wrong way. Who knows what the smart people at LEGO will think up.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    Maybe they could enable players to order the structures that they build in game, just like they did with LU ;-)

    If this goes ahead, it will at least be very interesting to see 'how' they do it.
  • YpresYpres Member Posts: 200
    Very nice to have read this... I'm happy Lego finally said something.

    Personally I'm one of the people who think Lego Minecraft is stupid. BUT if Lego wants to throw money away trying to attract a new community to its product then that's their business.
  • FizzlemesexyFizzlemesexy Member Posts: 123
    Minecraft's appeal is being able to destroy, create, and change your creations much like lego. Sometimes you don't have the resources to make what you want to and 'need' to find them. What gets people hooked is creating, online play interactions, constant updates, having your creations possibly destroyed, and death.

    I can see the adult fans pick up a battle packs for the game featuring the monsters and/or creatures. I can even see it work rather well to blind bag minis/accessories much like the collectable minifigure line. I however can't picture the younger audience picking up many of these sets.

    As much as I would like a Minecraft Lego item, I don't picture myself buying a full set. A zombie/creeper battle pack however would be a hit.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    Lego should just buy minecraft outright and stop making their own games IMO. Its much truer to the spirit of lego than their ones.
    Great tieup and great well worded response.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Member Posts: 2,117
    Im glad to see that they are tightening up the rules to stop plagerism and clearing out the junk on there. I may even consider submitting something now. I read the response as they saw how fast Minecraft gained votes and how many users it had and they can see it selling well. Nothing wrong with that at all it does nothing but benefit us. We get more models, maybe lower prices. and with the quality of the designers they should look good. But i wont be buying and dont think many others will buy.
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Member Posts: 995
    A zombie/creeper battle pack however would be a hit.
    An ultimate build-type Creeper would be awesome :-o

  • nodnarb162nodnarb162 Member Posts: 58
    NOO! why 18+? >.< oh well...only another year then :P
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