LEGO and Epic Games join forces to build a metaverse dedicated to children

Epic Games released a statement on Thursday, April 7th announcing the company’s collaboration with the LEGO Group. The two companies announce a long-term partnership to develop a safe and kid-friendly Metaverse.

A coalition flowing from the source

For Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, this collaboration is a no-brainer. The LEGO Group has been fueling the imaginations of children and adults through creative play for almost a century. We look forward to working together to build a place in the metaverse that is fun, entertaining, and thoughtful for children and their families. »

The two companies already benefit from an important video game background: Fourteen days, by Epic, is very popular with younger viewers. As for LEGO, they have been customizing their bricks in video games for years, the latest to date, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, was released on April 5th. Epic Games also has a wealth of experience in creating tools and universes that are accessible to gamers and developers from all walks of life.

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Make this Metaverse a safe place

Still considered a very nebulous concept, a metaverse can represent something completely different depending on the project that carries it. For some, it’s a video game where the user can participate in different activities like The Sandbox. For others, it is a social meeting place that brings together different actors like Decentraland.

Although Epic Games and LEGO have not commented on what they will look like, safety must be the focus for them.

Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group, believes that online communities can help children develop many skills such as creativity, communication and mutual support. ” Children enjoy playing in digital worlds just as much as they do in the real world and switch between them with ease ‘ he explains in the press release. He adds, ” However, we have a responsibility to create a safe, inspiring and useful place for everyone. Just as we have protected our children in the outside world, we will do the same for digital environments. »

To achieve this, the two partner companies have agreed on three principles that ensure a fun and safe metaverse:

  • Ensuring children’s right to play by prioritizing safety and well-being,
  • Protect children’s privacy by putting their well-being first,
  • Give kids and adults the tools to take control of their digital experience.

Epic Games also remembers the 2020 acquisition of SuperAwesome, a company specializing in the development of tools to keep young users safe online.

LEGO and Epic’s proposal may make you smile, but it calls into question children’s exposure to increasingly younger virtual universes. Facebook was the subject of controversy when it released its Messengers Kids service, which had significant security vulnerabilities, and more recently Instagram Kids, whose development was put on hold last September. By emphasizing safety, the two partners hope not to get caught up in the same controversies.

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