LEGO Group that LEGO Universe is closing its doors on January 31st, 2012 due to a lack of paying customers. While the game has been free-to-play for a while, apparently not enough players were interested in dishing out cash to keep the MMO operational.
The news was posted just moments ago on the official forums along with a more in-depth FAQ:
Hello Adventurer, today we are very sad to announce that LEGO Universe will be closing on January 31, 2012. This was a very difficult decision to make, but unfortunately LEGO Universe has not been able to attract the number of members needed to keep the game open.Unfortunately, this closure means that the associated studios, including one in Colorado and one in Denmark, will be shuttered and 115 employees will be affected. LEGO Universe launched in October 2010 and converted to a free-to-play model this past August. We've included the official press release behind the break.
We are thankful to have had the opportunity to share this adventure wiith an amazing community of players. We hope you will continue to enjoy LEGO Universe for the last few months. As a thank you, if you are a paying subscriber on December 31, 2011, we will provide you the full game for the final month for free.
Again, we want to thank the fantastic community of players who made LEGO Universe such a vibrant, fun and creative experience.
The LEGO Universe Team