The LEGO Group said today it will close the LEGO Universe MMO early next year.

The company said that despite positive player feedback and a large number of players in the free play zone, it has not been possible to convert those players to paying subscribers. The game will be closed on January 31, 2012.

“The LEGO Universe team can take pride in having developed and launched a great LEGO experience that many players will miss,” said Jesper Vilstrup, Vice President, LEGO Universe. “Right now, we have almost 2 million players in LEGO Universe, and we get extremely positive feedback from players. Unfortunately, we have not been able to build a satisfactory revenue model in our target group, and therefore, have decided to close the game.”

The LEGO Group will continue its partnerships with TT Games and Warner Bros. and plans to expand its digital LEGO offerings.

“The development of our digital offerings continues to be a very important element in our strategy,” said Mads Nipper, Executive Vice President, LEGO Group. “We have more than 20 million visitors on www.LEGO.com every month, and LEGO video games are among the bestselling children’s video games with sales of more than 60 million units in the last five years. Through our experience developing and running LEGO Universe, we have gained a lot of valuable insights, and we have a very strong foundation for future development in the digital area.”

Developer Play Well Studios in Louisville, Colorado and the game’s marketing branch in Billund, Denmark will also be closed, affecting 115 employees total.