Is LEGO still beating itself up for not having invented Minecraft, the ridiculously successful video game franchise that has generated revenue in the billions of dollars since its inception in 2012? Most definitely, but the building-block company appears to have taken a big step toward rectifying that oversight by teaming up with Epic Games as part of a new virtual initiative.
Both companies confirmed today that they have entered into a collaboration for building a new metaverse aimed explicitly at kids, one that’s been described as an “immersive, creatively inspiring, and engaging digital experience” that will allow kids to flex their creativity in a safe way. LEGO and Epic Games have promised that the platform is being built with safety in mind, with children’s privacy being a priority.
As usual, no definition for the metaverse was given, but the companies are presumably looking at creating another addiction along the lines of Epic’s hugely popular Fortnite.
“Kids enjoy playing in digital and physical worlds and move seamlessly between the two,” said Niels B Christiansen, CEO of The LEGO Group. “We believe there is huge potential for them to develop life-long skills such as creativity, collaboration and communication through digital experiences. But we have a responsibility to make them safe, inspiring and beneficial for all. Just as we’ve protected children’s rights to safe physical play for generations, we are committed to doing the same for digital play. We look forward to working with Epic Games to shape this exciting and playful future.”
“The LEGO Group has captivated the imagination of children and adults through creative play for nearly a century, and we are excited to come together to build a space in the metaverse that’s fun, entertaining, and made for kids and families,” added Tim Sweeney, CEO & Founder of Epic Games.
The LEGO Group and Epic Games Team Up to Build a Place for Kids to Play in the Metaverse (Epic Games)
The LEGO Group and Epic Games today announced they are entering a long-term partnership to shape the future of the metaverse to make it safe and fun for children and families. The two companies will team up to build an immersive, creatively inspiring and engaging digital experience for kids of all ages to enjoy together.
The family-friendly digital experience will give kids access to tools that will empower them to become confident creators and deliver amazing play opportunities in a safe and positive space.
As the metaverse evolves, it is reshaping how people meet, play, work, learn and interact in a virtual, 3D world. The LEGO Group and Epic Games will combine their extensive experience to ensure that this next iteration of the internet is designed from the outset with the wellbeing of kids in mind.
Epic Games has expertise in building creative tools and immersive worlds that are open and accessible to players and developers everywhere. It is at the forefront of popular culture, creating experiences that connect people through gaming, music and creative collaboration. Epic is also committed to enabling developers to create age-appropriate experiences online and in 2020 acquired SuperAwesome, a company that has pioneered technology designed to deliver safe digital engagement with children under 16.
For 90 years the LEGO Group has inspired generations of children through play through the endless creative possibilities of the LEGO brick, which remains the core of its business. The company is a leader in defining safe digital play experiences for children including the development of an industry-standard Digital Child Safety Policy with UNICEF and the 2016 launch of the first fully live moderated social app for children.
The LEGO Group and Epic Games have agreed to three principles which will ensure the digital spaces they develop deliver engaging play opportunities safely:
Protect children’s right to play by making safety and wellbeing a priority.
Safeguard children’s privacy by putting their best interests first.
Empower children and adults with tools that give them control over their digital experience.