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Epic Games and The LEGO Group are teaming up to develop a new metaverse to serve as a playground for children.
Details are scarce as neither company revealed or said anything about what this new metaverse will entail. No one knows if this will be an open sandbox for kids to play in or a game with defined goals. There’s also no information as to when it will launch or on what platforms.
What is known, however, are the three main principles fueling development with a major focus on safety. According to the two companies, their metaverse will make children’s “safety and wellbeing a priority”, protect player privacy, and give them the tools to control their own experience.
CEO of The LEGO Group Niels B Christiansen said there’s an opportunity for kids to “…develop life-long skills such as creativity, collaboration, and communication…” in a safe and positive environment.
In recent years, Epic Games has been making moves into developing more kid-friendly spaces. The developer already has extensive experience with creating massive digital worlds, as seen in Fortnite, but Epic was never really known for servicing a young audience.
That attitude changed when Epic Games purchased SuperAwesome in 2020, a tech company that specializes in protecting children and parents online with its Kids Web Services (KWS) platform. Then in September 2021, Epic made the KWS software free for all developers around the world via its Epic Online Services.
The Lego Group has also made digital contributions (opens in new tab) such as playing a role in the development of the Digital Child Safety Policy with UNICEF. It also helped develop the Child Online Safety Assessment tool for companies to use in addressing children’s rights online.
So this long-term partnership isn’t without merit. Since the concept of a metaverse is still nebulous, some have speculated what this metaverse will be.
People online have suggested the metaverse could be something like Minecraft or a Roblox-style game. The argument could be made that Roblox is indeed a metaverse since it’s a massive online world where players can go in, create an avatar, and interact with people in a LEGO-style world.
Plus, those titles are bound to the player’s imagination, much like a LEGO set. Still, those games don’t have Epic’s gaming expertise or its KWS platform protecting their children.