This week will see the release of the first product of Epic Games’ and Lego’s cooperation, which created Fortnite, as well as two more games within games that significantly expand the game’s scope.
Described as a “survival crafting LEGO adventure,” the hybrid Lego/Fortnite experience will launch on Thursday, December 7. For players 10 years of age and above, Lego Fortnite—which Epic refers to as its own live service game—offers a large multiplayer gaming environment with Lego game building elements.
The chaotic, ridiculous, and by definition tense battle royale experience may be very different from the new kid-friendly Fortnite experience, which says it will “encourage creativity, experimentation and collaboration through play.” Apart from a handful of broad teaser images, the firms haven’t revealed much more about the gameplay, geography, or processes thus far.
In April of last year, Epic and the brand known for its funny small bricks originally announced the partnership. The companies announced at the time that they were working over an extended period of time to create “a fun place for kids to play in the metaverse”. Even though the phrase “metaverse” has become less fashionable after a year and a half (thanks to Meta’s disastrous rebranding attempt), the appeal of online multiplayer games, customizable avatars, and in-game goods has most likely not reached its peak yet.
In addition to Lego Fortnite, Epic recently unveiled Fortnite Festival, a music game from the creators of Rock Band that allows users to perform on stage “with hit music by their favourite artists,” and Rocket Racing, a “supersonic arcade racer” developed by the same team that made Rocket League. While Lego Fortnite may be the main attraction, Epic is definitely broadening its horizons this year through partnerships and developing new games through its rather recent purchases of Harmonix, the company behind Rock Band, and Psyonix, the developer of Rocket League.
Epic has added 1,200 Lego-ified skins to its own game, which debuted a new season (Chapter 5, Season 1) this past weekend, in anticipation of the release of Lego Fortnite. A Lego recreation of several Fortnite icons, such as Peely, Raven, and the Cuddle Team Leader (the eerie pink bear), is included in this.
Epic will not be wooing young players with Lego Fortnite for the first time. Although Epic has run afoul of regulators for how it treats its younger player base, the standard version of Fortnite is kid-friendly. The FTC fined Epic $520 million last year for using dark pattern graphics in its in-game store to entice underage gamers to buy. The FTC also investigated how Epic was managing the safety of its younger users on the internet. This raised concerns, which led Fortnite to implement “cabined accounts,” which place extra limitations on the accounts of users who aren’t old enough to provide their consent online (children under the age of 13 in the United States).
The popular battle royale game Fortnite still has a lot of competition these days, despite it being challenging to pinpoint its exact level of popularity. Among its younger player base, Epic is obviously aiming to take on Roblox and Minecraft, two hugely popular games among players under the age of thirteen that provide open-ended virtual worlds for youngsters to create and play together.
Epic appears to be laying the foundation for its broad long-term online gaming vision, whether or not we refer to it as the metaverse, by working with Lego on a cooperative building game that is probably less of an adult-friendly, high-octane fight to the death. Epic has also released two other gameplay experiences.
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