Lego is building a child-friendly metaverse
Toy brand Lego has announced a partnership with Epic Games to develop a child-friendly metaverse.
The metaverse space will compete with Roblox and Fortnite Creative / Glen Carrie, Unsplash
While there are few details about what this will ultimately look like, Lego’s other gaming and entertainment properties suggest it will take the form of a multiplayer creative space.
Niels B Christiansen, the chief executive of The Lego Group, said: “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.
“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 metaverse will likely be built on Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 (UE5), which it recently made open source and is being pushed in a big way to brand marketers. The IPA and Epic Games recently announced a workshop to teach marketers about the benefits of UE5, with Epic’s business development manager for brands/advertising Rachel Stones telling The Drum: “Brands that emerge quickly without really understanding the environment can lose out. You have to be additive as a brand. You have to amplify what’s already going on. It’s about community building, not about push marketing.”
The move to launch a Lego metaverse makes sense, in light of both the number of brands pushing into that space and the toy brand’s own history with games. Lego has licensed itself out to create a number of games in the past, with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga being the more recent.
Lego Dimensions in particular was an early foray into many of the ideas that underpin the metaverse, in terms of a number of entertainment IPs interacting with one another and the community creation aspects of the overall package.
Other platforms primarily aimed at children, including Minecraft and Roblox, have laid the groundwork for much of what we currently consider ‘the metaverse’.