In the new ‘Lego Worlds,’ players manipulate virtual bricks as they encounter friend and foe—just like in the wildly popular game franchise from Microsoft-owned Mojang

‘Lego Worlds,’ Lego's answer to Minecraft, is coming to PlayStation, Xbox and PCs in February.

Lego wants a piece of Minecraft’s blockbuster videogame success.

Lego A/S and its videogame publishing partner, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, on Tuesday said the building-block game, “Lego Worlds,” is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PCs on Feb. 21.

Although there have been dozens of Lego titles in the past—nearly 30 from the “Lego Worlds” developers at the Warner-owned TT Games alone—this is the closest that a Lego game has gotten to treating virtual bricks like their real-world counterparts. Players can construct buildings, erect mountains and natural structures, even do landscaping. Only problem: That is the defining aspect of the youth-magnet Minecraft universe, created by Microsoft Corp.’s Mojang development studio.

‘Lego Worlds’ will offer similar encounters with vampires, yetis and dragons. ENLARGE
‘Lego Worlds’ will offer similar encounters with vampires, yetis and dragons. Photo: Lego Group/Warner Bros.

The similarities don’t end there. In Minecraft’s unbounded terrains, gamers can face off against zombies and other adversaries while negotiating with townspeople and livestock. “Lego Worlds” will offer similar encounters with vampires, yetis and dragons. Because it is also an “open world,” the game will include prebuilt vehicles for players to cruise around in.

(“Lego Worlds” has been available in a limited PC preview mode via Valve Corp.’s Steam Early Access service since June 2015.)

While Lego’s massively popular brand has spawned theme parks and blockbuster films, it may be too late to challenge the Minecraft juggernaut.

Since its release in 2009, “Minecraft” has sold more than 70 million copies across nearly every device that plays games: PCs, PlayStations, Xboxes, Nintendos, smartphones, tablets—even low-cost Raspberry Pi computers. The mobile version of Minecraft regularly ranks among the top paid titles world-wide in Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s app stores. Microsoft is seeking to reach millions more with a classroom edition of the game. There is even a Minecraft line of…Lego brick sets.

Lego is no slouch in gaming, having sold more than 140 million copies in the past decade. Its recent successes include a series of Lego Star Wars games and a so-called toys-to-life series called Lego Dimensions—itself a challenge to Walt Disney Co.’s Infinity and Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Skylanders franchises. Disney since has retreated from the genre. But this is another story: While people associate Lego with real-world creativity, Minecraft is the king of virtual creation.