NEWS

Lego and Epic Games partner to enter the metaverse

Published on: 8th April 2022

The announcement comes as the toy company announces it will be overhauling its Leicester Square store to make it the brand’s largest in the world.

The Lego Group and Epic Games has announced they are entering a long-term partnership to shape the future of the metaverse by making it both safe and fun for children and families. The two companies say they will build an immersive, creatively inspiring and engaging digital experience for kids of all ages to enjoy together.

The family-friendly digital experience will give kids access to tools that will empower them to become confident creators and deliver amazing play opportunities in a safe and positive space.

Niels B Christiansen, CEO of the Lego Group, said: “Kids enjoy playing in physical and digital 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 in both. We have a responsibility to make digital play safe, inspiring and beneficial for all, and 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.”

Tim Sweeney, CEO & founder, Epic Games, added: “The Lego Group has captivated the imagination of children and adults through creative play for nearly a century, and we are excited to come together to build a space in the metaverse that’s fun, entertaining, and made for kids and families.”

The companies note that as the metaverse evolves, it’s reshaping how people meet, play, work, learn and interact in a virtual, 3D world. The Lego Group and Epic Games will combine their extensive experience to ensure that the next iteration of the internet is designed from the outset with the wellbeing of kids in mind.

The Lego Group and Epic Games have agreed to three principles which will ensure the digital spaces they develop deliver engaging play opportunities safely:

  1. Protect children’s right to play by making safety and wellbeing a priority.
  2. Safeguard children’s privacy by putting their best interests first.
  3. Empower children and adults with tools that give them control over their digital experience.

The news comes as the Danish toymaker announces it will be overhauling its Leicester Square store to make it the brand’s largest in the world. It’ll also be the first store in the UK to feature the Lego Group’s new ‘Retailtainment’ concept. Retailtainment will blend physical and digital experiences that allow shoppers to immerse themselves in the famous Lego brick, as well as create personalised products.

Some of the new innovations include:

  • The Brick Lab: A world-first retail experience that immerses customers and their Lego builds in an amazing virtual world. Walls, floors, and ceilings are brought to life with light, sound, and music for a truly interactive build and play experience.
  • Lego Expressions: Visitors can have fun with Lego Minifigures who mimic their facial expressions.
  • Tree of Discovery: An interactive model that showcases Lego storytelling on a huge scale. The 880,000 piece structure will be the centrepiece of the store and is an expression of the Lego Group’s commitment to being inclusive and having a positive impact on society and the planet. Visitors of all ages are invited to explore a magical wonderland hidden inside the tree through windows in its rainbow trunk.
  • Storytelling Table: Lego fans can go behind-the-scenes of the Lego design process with the new storytelling table. They’ll learn about Lego sets via interactive areas that allow them to “meet the designers” through interviews and videos displayed on screens, all while playing with the set in-front of them.
  • Personalisation Studio: This element invites visitors to make a memento of their visit. In it, they can reimagine themselves in Lego form, either as a portrait from the Mosaic Maker or an iconic Minifigure from the Lego Minifigure Factory.
  • Exclusive Lego models: Fans can look out for eye-catching and unique 3D Lego models throughout the store, with a newly inspired design based on ‘Stories From London’; bringing a combination of the city of London and British culture and entertainment to life in Lego form.

These will join popular Lego Store staples including: Build a Minifigure Tower, Lego Pick a Brick Wall and Hands-on Play.

The retail director & district manager of the UK Store Operations Team, Alison Wood, said: “We’re looking forward to overhauling the Lego Store Leicester Square. It’s a much-loved destination for Lego fans from across the UK and abroad so we’re excited to bring the Lego Group’s new Retailtainment concept to the store. The new technology will immerse visitors in the brand like never before and provide them with endless play opportunities. We can’t wait to launch it.”

The current store will function as normal until Easter. From 17th April, only the ground floor will be operational. It will remain this way until the full closure takes place end of June, ahead of the reopening in the summer holidays. As always, the new store will continue to offer plenty of benefits for Lego VIP members including exclusive VIP gifts with purchase, double points events and much more. Lego fans can sign up here.

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