Our Chief Strategy Officer, James Whatley, was asked by Adweek to comment on the announcement of the Epic / Lego partnership. You can read the full article on Adweek right here.
We asked James to share his notes and enlarge upon his opinion below.
The Epic x Lego partnership (or ‘team up’ as they wonderfully call it) is one of the most interesting things to happen in the ‘metaverse’ space to date..
Why? First, the announcement itself sets a clear agenda for Lego's future in digital spaces. Second, it underlines Epic's commitment to building safer online spaces for children to interact.
If you look at online spaces worlds where children currently interact, you're looking at Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite. Epic already has Fortnite but Epic does not have a Roblox or a Minecraft.
So it's a win/win. Epic gets its own “Roblox” (and a phenomenal brand to match), Lego gets to start building something incredible with a trusted partner that they know can live to their brand values.
The deepening of the partnership with the further announcement that Epic have received $2 billion round of funding from existing investor Sony
Group Corporation as well as KIRKBI, the family-owned holding and investment company behind The LEGO Group is a one two punch that very much cements their intentions.
They mean business. Which can only be a good thing for all of us. Because if you remove the marketing hype around metaverse (and there’s a lot - so it might take a while) and look at this announcement for what it is, I believe we're looking at the early beginnings of what could grow into a new virtual/online gaming-led social space.
One that's child-friendly, endorsed and built with digital Lego, powered by the phenomenal technology and talent at Epic, and almost certainly free to play. It's a way off, I'm sure. But if you take the even longer view on this, and look ahead to metaverse building companies being pulled in front of the DCMS, the European Commission, or the US Senate, Who are legislators going to listen to when it comes to the safety of our children online? Mark Zuckerberg or Lego?
I think we all know the answer to that one.