The LEGO Group and Epic Games announced on Thursday their long-term partnership with the initiative to ensure that the future of the metaverse will be safe and fun for children and families to enjoy. The LEGO Group has long contributed to how children enjoy physical games, such as with the LEGO brick, and Epic with digital games such as Fortnite. As the metaverse evolves, The LEGO Group and Epic will combine their experience to make sure that this online world is designed with the well-being of kids in mind.
The LEGO Group and Epic have agreed to 3 principles that drive their mission to 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.” These principles are some that Epic and The LEGO Group have already implemented in the way they have developed their games and products in the past years up to now.
“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 CEO & Founder of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney in a news release. Epic, who just recently released their powerful Unreal Engine 5, values bringing the community together through gaming, music and creative collaboration. On top of that, they commit to enabling developers to create age-appropriate experiences online. In 2020, Epic had acquired SuperAwesome, a company pioneering in technology designed to deliver a safe digital engagement with children under 16. Since video games are becoming played more than ever before, kids move seamlessly between the digital and physical world. For The LEGO Group and Epic, this means taking responsibility to protect children, as video games create a huge potential for them to develop skills that carry on to the real world.
“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,” said CEO of The LEGO Group, Niels B Christiansen said. The LEGO Group has inspired creative play with the core of their business, the LEGO brick, for 90 years. Recently in 2021, The LEGO Group partnered with UNICEF to develop an industry-standard Digital Child Safety Policy. Prior to that in 2016, they launched their LEGO Life: kid-safe community social app. This creative social app was designed similar to the metaverse future both companies will strive to create.
The metaverse is widely defined as the future of the internet. Sweeney describes the metaverse as “an expansive, digitized communal space where users can mingle freely with brands and one another in ways that permit self-expression and spark joy” according to The Washington Post interviewing a variety of executives, developers and stakeholders at Epic. Fortnite paves the way to the metaverse thanks to the millions of users who log into the game every month to do more than game. In Fortnite, players can experience virtual concerts and interact with intellectual properties from Star Wars to Marvel to films such as Uncharted. The world of Fortnite can be looked at in all departments in how it inspires metaverse qualities. What is key though, is their effort to make this game kid-friendly, with the exception of recommending the game for teens 13 and up due to open chat and action violence.
As for The LEGO Group, their leap into the metaverse will not be with TT Games, the development studio behind Lego video games. This being said, it is unclear as to how Lego’s brand of toys will be a factor into Epic’s metaverse goals.