There was, however, one tragic casualty to license-driven business practices, and that was in the form of video games. As Lego was just beginning to take on licenses, a unique video game came out celebrating many of its past, original brands, along with the creative spirit that had driven the toy's image up to that point. This game was Lego Racers, and it not only let you build a car of your own design out of virtual Lego pieces, what you build would also affect how it handled. It wasn't a perfect game, but it was a wonderful step towards a future where more games would entail building things out of Lego pieces, with more advanced mechanics to make them work. Yet barring a sequel released soon after, Lego never took any more steps. As licensed brands began to dominate Lego's image, some people in the brass must have realized that these brands alone could sell Lego video games, so construction fell by the wayside. Most characteristic in those games made by Traveler's Tales, the modern breed of Lego games seems to spam to death Donkey Kong 64 tropes, wherein it is necessary to use different characters to do different things throughout the level, and also to collect plot coupons along the way. Building, in general, is limited to automated construction done by pushing a button to build a specific model in a specific place to do a specific thing. I've always been a huge critic of these games, and yearned for this madness to end so someone had a chance to make a Racers-style game again, but for a long time it seemed there was no end in site.
Yet out of the blue, the winds changed again. The release of The Lego Movie; a widespread success, has altered popular culture in a favorable way. Not only is Lego "cool" again, but, thanks to the heavy stressing it got in the movie, designing and building things out of Lego is cool again. To the relatable blank slate that was Emmet Brickowski and to audiences everywhere, Wyldstyle and Vitruvius glamorized the idea of saving the world through slick, plastic MacGyvering.
My enthusiasm has its limits, naturally. These games are only on tablets, which I do not own. At least two of them seem a bit too simple, whatwith the inability to build actual 3D models. (They build facades, which are given depth by the program. The fact that one of them involves racing is wonderfully nostalgic, but there's not yet enough information to conclude, that it will be as deep as the old Lego Racers games.
Yet hopefully, this time it's not a fluke. Hopefully, the Fusion idea will be enough of a success for Lego to decide that it should be expanded to other platforms, and with better mechanics. Then, perhaps, we'll finally get to the point we should have gotten to a decade and a half ago. Perhaps, soon, everything will be awesome.