May 25, 2022

Fortnite developer Epic Games announced today that it’s teaming up with Lego to create a metaverse for kids. The companies say they will be shaping the future of the Metaverse to be safe and fun for kids, and create immersive digital experiences for kids.

Although the companies did not elaborate on their plans for this virtual world, they outlined three principles that they say will ensure the security of the digital spaces they develop. The two will work together to prioritize the safety and well-being of children, protect children’s privacy, and equip children and adults with the tools to help them take control of their digital experiences.

“The LEGO Group has been capturing the imaginations of kids and adults with creative play for almost a century, and we’re excited to come together in the Metaverse to create a fun, entertaining space built for kids and families,” Epic CEO and Founder Tim Sweeney said in a press release.

Sweeney has previously stated that he sees the Metaverse as a kind of online playground where users can play games like Fortnite and watch movies on Netflix at the same time.

In today’s statement, Sweeney said the digital experience will be family-friendly and empower children to be confident creators. He said the two companies will combine their expertise to ensure that the next version of the Internet is designed with children’s well-being in mind. There is no word yet on what the virtual world will look like and when the two companies plan to launch it.

“Kids love to play in the digital and physical worlds and move easily between them,” Lego CEO Niels B. Christiansen said in a press release. “We believe they have a huge potential for developing life skills such as creativity, collaboration and communication through digital experiences. But we have an obligation to make them safe, inspiring and beneficial for everyone.”

The “Metaverse” is not yet clearly defined, mainly because it does not necessarily exist, but is mainly seen as a network of virtual spaces that will open up new ways for people to connect to the network. The idea of ​​a Metaverse has already proven unsafe for kids, which would force Epic and Lego to build wider defenses around their planned virtual worlds.

Epic and Lego are joining several other companies looking to create their own versions of the metaverse.

Formerly known as Facebook, Meta has mainly focused on building the Metaverse and has even rebranded its company to signify its plans for the future. Last September, the company announced a $50 million fund to invest in research to ensure the responsible creation of the metaverse. Since then, the company has doubled down on its plans for the Metaverse, as well as canceling tomorrow’s F8 developer conference in an effort to focus its efforts on building the Metaverse.

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

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