G1 was ended because sales were dropping exponentially. The story had become so confusing that really only those who didn't care and those who had been there since the beginning would buy them. LEGO decided they needed to fix this. They canceled Bionicle before it hit rock bottom, but, in order to appease constraction hunger, they created HeroFactory while they worked on G2 in the background. HeroFactory had a simpler story, simpler dictionary, and was never really designed to last forever. G2 was always in the end supposed to cancel it. (At least, that's what I remember from Autopsy)
It would have had to be amazing, Ninjago-level to last that long. The plan was for 3 years, and so we only lost one in all (two waves).
Well... yes and no.
You can't really expect a company to make a desicion not based on making money. Every decision ever made by a business either will profit them in some way, or tear them down into economic ruin. Money should be in the company's best interest, for its own life. It isn't selfish, it's just how businesses work.
Therefore, claiming the reason they were canceled is that LEGO wants money is essentially the same as saying that they were canceled because LEGO is a company. It's true, the decision was made for the best interest of the company, but it doesn't work as an answer. G2 sold poorly, most likely due to lack of care by LEGO for anything besides really cool sets (in my opinion). LEGO didn't give G2 100% of their effort, and constraction is slowly dying anyways.
One of the best ways companies improve profits is by appealing to the fans. Fans aren't going to buy what they don't want, so LEGO will give the fans what they want. This is why Ninjago hasn't been canceled, despite lasting for almost longer than Bionicle. LEGO listens to fans, much more now than ever (look at Ideas if you don't believe me), and they'll do things for the fans that can appeal newer audiences too (Ninjago Legacy). That is how the best original LEGO themes work, they attract new audiences as well as old ones. Bionicle just stopped making new ones after a while, and so G1 was canceled.
This is very true. Fans have to encourage LEGO to believe the theme would be successful first.
The downhill trend isn't due to levels of success, as the later two were pretty much LEGO's decision. Even if G2 sold great, we would have gotten only 3 years.
Okay, well, now that I've gotten my thoughts out...
- Bionicle can return. LEGO just doesn't think it will be successful. If they did, it would be probable for a G3.
- We, as fans, can be a huge part in this decision. Ninjago tried to cancel after... 2 or 3 years? I don't remember. It didn't. And that's because of the fans. The fans have kept it alive and profiting for nearly 10 years now, and they even gave it a cinematic movie. It did poorly, the fans may not like it, but that's more than Bionicle ever got. I'd consider selling half my collection to get an LCU Bionicle movie that was even just that good/bad.
- Bionicle could very well be System if it returns. I'm sad to say this, but Constraction may be dead. It may perturb some Technic elitists (I don't know what to call them), but System is the future (as well as the past). I won't say they would be mini figures, but they'd most likely incorporate System somewhere. Is that bad? Well, we don't know, I guess. I'd definitely be interested in seeing this in concept.
- Bionicle may never come back. It just may not. Make it too complex, children are confused by it. Make it too simple, fans call it "childish." Make it Constraction, children may not like it. Make it System, fans may despise it to the core. It's hard to make Bionicle perfect again, and that may keep it from ever returning.
Now that I've made myself depressed, I hope for the dearest Bionicle can return in any way. I love it, but I never did when it was alive. As I've said. Multiple times. I don't have any personal stories of Bionicle saving me from boredom as a kid. I'm just a simple Bionicle-loving TFOL, trying to make my way in a Bionicle-free universe.