With Lego Fortnite, Epic Games and Lego want to expand their audience – LesAffaires.com

The developers of Lego Fortnite have ensured that all structures built in the game can be recreated in the real world using Lego bricks. (Photo: 123RF)

Global toy leader Lego and video game publisher Epic Games on Thursday launched Lego Fortnite, a version of the platform aimed at hundreds of millions of players that aims to allow the two partners to expand their respective audiences.

The game, like its predecessor, is free and open access and uses many of the visual codes of Fortnite, but with Lego characters and building materials and tools derived directly from the Danish brand’s universe.

It takes place in a universe similar to that of the game released in 2017, but in a space 19 times the area of ​​the Fortnite island.

Aside from the Lego aesthetic, the main difference lies in the game mode. Leave the “Battle Royale”, a format in which you have to eliminate the other players and remain the only survivor to win, on an island that is gradually becoming smaller. It has been replaced here by two versions.

One is called “Survival”, in which the player has to build and thrive in a world populated by giant wolves and killer skeletons, the other is called “Sandbox” and contains no hostile elements, aimed primarily at the youngest.

Lego Fortnite is the first major joint success of Lego and Epic Games since the announcement in April 2022 that the Danish group and Sony had acquired a stake in the capital of the publishing house Cary (North Carolina) for two billion dollars.

The developers of Lego Fortnite have ensured that all structures built in the game can be recreated in the real world using Lego bricks.

“We’re bridging the physical and digital worlds, which in some ways has never been done before,” Julia Goldin, the toymaker’s marketing director, told AFP. “And that is just the beginning.”

The manager sees this as an opportunity for the group to “invite many more online players to try out the physical world of Lego bricks.”

Lego is already well represented in video games with titles like “Ninjago” and “Lego Star Wars”.

But with this the group enters the famous metaverse, parallel digital universes in which the play and design options are becoming ever more extensive.

“This will attract a lot of children, but also teenagers and adults,” expects Adam Sussman, President of Epic Games.

“There’s space”

In many ways, especially due to the fact that it is a so-called persistent universe (which continues to exist even if a player leaves it), Lego Fortnite represents a rival to references such as Minecraft or Animal Crossing.

“We think it’s great for the industry to have multiple hits, not just one,” says Adam Sussman.

“When a genre like this is very popular, there is room,” he continues. “We want to offer people who love this style an even more innovative version.”

Just like Fortnite, this new game is available through online gaming applications on console, PC and smartphone. However, it is not available in the Apple (App Store) and Google (Google Play) stores. This absence is related to a dispute between Epic Games and the two tech giants.

The publisher criticizes Apple and Google, which dominate the global smartphone ecosystem, for imposing excessive commissions (30%) on the use of their download platforms and payment systems.

A civil lawsuit between Epic Games and Google is currently underway in federal court in San Francisco.

“We will continue to work to create open mobile ecosystems that allow our products and services to reach as many people as possible, in a way that is fair for developers and players,” said Adam Sussman.

Economically, Lego Fortnite revenue will come from in-game purchases like Fortnite, explained Adam Sussman.

Epic Games does not allow in-game purchases for registered players under the age of 13.