Lego has teamed up with Fortnite creator Epic Games to enter the metaverse market.
The Danish toy company has set out plans to develop a virtual world with the help of Epic Games so that its products can be accessed in digital form within the metaverse. Users will be able to build Lego sets in virtual environments.
In its annual report Lego said: "We announced a partnership with Epic Games to explore building a fun and safe metaverse for children."
CEO of Lego, Niels Christiansen, said: “We know very well how to immerse consumers into the Lego universe in stores.
"We’re working very hard to create that feeling of getting into the Lego brand universe also digitally.”
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Lego to bring the joy of building and creativity to a wider audience.
“Lego’s timeless brand and commitment to quality align perfectly with Epic’s vision for the metaverse, and we can’t wait to see what we can create together.”
The Lego metaverse will be built using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, which powers some of the world’s most popular video games.
Lego invested $2bn (£1.7bn) in Epic Games in April 2021, with the objective of developing a metaverse platform that would provide secure and safe digital spaces for children to interact with the brand.
In 2022, Lego saw a surge in sales as consumers purchased larger and more intricate sets, posting a revenue of £7.7bn in 2022, an increase of 17% compared to the previous year.
The company, which is famous for its plastic brick-based toys, has not neglected the digital sector, with a successful range of Lego computer games for PC and consoles.
Christiansen credited the company’s recent success to its investments in digital playing experiences.
He told the Financial Times that Lego is “doing a lot of things on the digital side”.
He added that Lego is aiming to create a seamless experience for consumers that incorporates both the physical and digital worlds.
Christiansen said: "Lego bricks are a universal language that transcends generations and cultures and we’re combining the physical and digital worlds to create a new type of play experience that will inspire and engage children and adults alike.”