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LEGO and Epic Games partner to build a metaverse for kids

By Kara Santos Published Apr 08, 2022 2:27 pm

The LEGO Group and Epic Games have entered a long-term partnership to shape a metaverse where kids can play safely online. 

The toy brick company and Fortnite developer announced Thursday (April 7) that they are teaming 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. 

“Kids enjoy playing in digital and physical worlds and move seamlessly between the two. We believe there is huge potential for them to develop life-long skills such as creativity, collaboration and communication through digital experiences,” said Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of The LEGO Group in a statement. 

“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," Christiansen added. 

Video game and software developer Epic Games is known for building creative tools and immersive worlds that are open and accessible to players and developers everywhere.

Aside from the massively popular Fortnite, Epic Games is known for developing Unreal Engine 5, the Gears of War series, Infinity Blade, Shadow Complex and Bulletstorm. 

In recent years, Epic Games has been at the forefront of popular culture, known for creating experiences that connect people through gaming, music and creative collaboration.

According to Epic, they are committed to enabling developers to create age-appropriate experiences online. In 2020, they acquired SuperAwesome, a company that has pioneered technology designed to deliver safe digital engagement with children under 16.

Meanwhile, the LEGO Group has inspired generations of children through the endless creative possibilities of the LEGO brick, for the past 90 years.

“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,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO & Founder of Epic Games.

LEGO has redefined 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 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. 

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.

Epic and Lego join numerous other companies looking to build their own versions of a metaverse, which continue to evolve and reshape how people meet, play, work, learn and interact in a virtual, 3D world today.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is largely focused on building the metaverse and even changed its corporate branding to outline its plans for the future. 

The Walt Disney company has already been putting their characters in virtual worlds, particularly Marvel and Star Wars characters in Epic Games' Fortnite

Pokémon Go creator Niantic has also detailed its plans to to build what it calls the “real-world metaverse.” Last November, the company raised $300 million at a $3 billion valuation and said it would use the money to a create a real-world metaverse that will use technology to bring people closer to the outside world.