The Alpha Test was a testing phase of LEGO Universe that was limited to select people and groups.
Before the LEGO Kids Inner Circle was invited to test on December 8, 2009, the only people who could play the game besides kid playtesters were LEGO employees and their friends and family, and LUPs.
LEGO Kids Inner Circle
The first outside users to receive invites to the LEGO Universe alpha test phase were members of the LEGO Kids Inner Circle. Invites were sent out and the game was opened for play on December 8, 2009. Only those who joined before December 7, 2009 received invites.
Visitors to CES 2010 were able to play a live demo, which ran on the same servers as the alpha. Beta Test signups were also available.
Bradford Rant Institute of Cosmic Kinesis
The seven people who found the LEGO Pods during the B.R.I.C.K. promotion received alpha test invitations, the real life Pod they found, a B.R.I.C.K. T-Shirt, and an in-game shirt like the shirt of the minifigure in the Pod they received. People who emailed the institute with correct puzzle solutions also received alpha test invitations.
After signing a Declaration of Secrecy during the alpha test signup process, alpha testers were forced to withhold any video or photographic evidence of LEGO Universe gameplay (Although this did not apply to CES visitors). The Declaration of Secrecy was lifted at the end of the Beta, meaning alpha testers are now free to talk about their experiences and share information.
Shortly after the end of the alpha test phase, a patch was released to alpha testers, which indicated the game would be re-opened and beta testing would begin on February 25, 2010. This was delayed a week, and beta testing began on March 4, though at this point only alpha testers were given access. The first new players were accepted on March 10.