Big news from LDraw and LEGO [April Fool’s] is proud to announce that we are teaming up with The LEGO Group to bring you a better LEGO Digital Designer product with full access to the LDraw parts.

LEGO Group Acquisition of Parts Library Announced and LEGO System A/S jointly announced today that has agreed to sell its rights in the development of the LDraw Parts Library to the LEGO Group, the publisher of the virtual building software LEGO Digital Designer (LDD), for $5.35 million. The Steering Committee members have been offered employment by the LEGO Group, who will continue software development and operations from the former LEGO Universe studio in Louisville, Colorado.

“We’re excited about the integration of the LDraw Parts Library to fill the gaps of old virtual LEGO parts currently missing in LDD, but re-engineered by the fans and are happy to have the core of the community officially join the LEGO team,” said Søren Askildson, Senior Executive Vice President at the LEGO Software Engineering; Development Department. “This acquisition demonstrates our commitment both to the ongoing success of LEGO Digital Designer and to an overall strategy to expand our brand online.”

“’s focus is developing a solid easy-to-use library on an open document file format, and publishing the next generation of virtual building CAD systems,” said Willy Tschager, Member of the Steering Committee . “We’re proud of the library our community built, and are certain that it has a bright future. The transition of members of our team to the LEGO Group enables us to focus completely on internally-published, free-to-play software businesses.”

LEGO System A/S entered into a free-data-for-advisory relationship with as to build LEGO Universe in 2006. The acquisition of the rights to the library and the ability to transition members of the team to continue work on the library follows the fulfillment of the LEGO Universe development contract.

LDD as a virtual building experience attracts several million people each year to build a huge range of amazing creations. The LDraw System of Tools is a popular system of free software tools for modeling LEGO creations in 3D on a computer. The parts library that is central to the programs is under continuous maintenance and extension by the LDraw community since 1997.

14 comments on “Big news from LDraw and LEGO [April Fool’s]

  1. lukaswinklerprins

    Wow. I hope this pans out well. Quite an opening up of LEGO if they truly maintain LDraw’s open nature…

  2. retracile

    One of the key points will be how TLG handles the licensing. If they restrict commercial use like they do with LDD, the parts library will cease to be Open Source by definition, and that will be very unfortunate. I hope they will go the other way instead, and release LDD as Open Source software.

    I’ll be anxiously waiting for further details on the deal…

  3. JimmytheJ

    Been through the link… $5.35 million? Ties to LU? I feel I may have been played for a fool!

  4. bdag

    Hmm… Date posted Mar 31. Didn’t this happen last year with the Star Wars chrome minifigs? Really if you’re going to be a jokester you should make sure your posting date is correct.

    Otherwise slick idea for content. With the date being wrong you really had me fooled.

  5. gambort Post author

    ^ This was posted on April 1st. It may not have been April 1st for you, but there’s more than one timezone on this large, round planet. If you’re going to complain about the date, make sure you’re actually correct.

  6. bdag

    Oh I understand that we’re not China with a single time zone. Maybe I was a little curt and I apologize. But there were a few other jokes that actually posted Apr 1. I just figured that in an effort to have the joke posted as early as possible that someone jumped the gun. Is the date my time or the WordPress system time?

  7. gambort Post author

    Thanks for the apology. Graciously accepted. If there’s one way guaranteed to annoy me, it’s to forthrightly assume I live somewhere I do not.

    The “posted this entry” time is the server time (Seattle time I think), but the actual time this was posted was 9am Apr 1st AEST. I prefer to post my April Fools’ jokes on my time to keep people on their toes.

  8. bdag

    I’m in PDT much like your server. I didn’t assume you lived down the street from me but being just the other side of the date line would explain the confusion. It may be early Tuesday morning for you but it’s Monday afternoon for me. (Hello from the past!) Good to know for future reference. I’ll take a bunch of salt next year from Mar 30 to Apr 2, just to be safe. :D

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