By Gary Symons
TLL Editor in Chief
LEGO, the world’s leading toy brand, has hired three new staff members to help lead its $1 billion foray into the metaverse.
According to the LEGO-obsessed publications Jay’s Brick Blog and Brick Fanatics LEGO has posted job openings for three new positions in its new GAME division, which is an acronym for Game, Activations & Metaverse Experiences.
The hirings are among the first signs of concrete action on LEGO”s metaverse aspirations since it invested $1 billion in a partnership with Epic Games to build a child-safe metaverse. That cash injection from LEGO parent company KIRKBY was one half of Epic’s $2 billion funding round in April 2022, with the other 50% coming from Sony.
The LEGO Group had announced a week prior that it was teaming up with Epic Games to make the metaverse a safer place for kids, and KIRKBI CEO Søren Thorup Sørensen said the $1 billion investment demonstrated “a long-term focus towards the future metaverse.”
It appears the rubber has now hit the road for The LEGO Group’s metaverse ambitions, as the company is now posting openings for the team that will lead the GAME division.
There are currently three job openings the LEGO Group is looking to fill on the GAME team: a Senior Portfolio Manager, a Senior Marketing Manager and a Creative Lead. The listings for these roles all make heavy reference to the metaverse, and include responsibilities such as ‘delivering the best possible LEGO play in the digital space’ and ‘advocating for fun play [and] cool features’ on the product team.
“From those descriptions, it essentially sounds like the LEGO Group is gearing up for its next fluid play experience, blending physical and digital play,” wrote Brick Fanatics’ Chris Wharfe. “The listings refer to both digital play experiences and physical products, alongside a ‘non-game area for metaverse experiences’, which will include ‘digital events, branded play [and] storytelling’. But are we looking at the next LEGO Hidden Side, or something closer to LEGO Dimensions?”
At this stage, it’s difficult to tell—but the safe money is on something much bigger and expansive than either of those initiatives, given the scope of the LEGO Group’s investment,” Wharfe adds.
Hidden Side, by the way, was a program featuring augmented reality play through a mobile app, while LEGO Dimensions was an action adventure video game that incorporates physical Warner Bros. characters like Batman and Superman into the action.
One development that we at TLL are keeping an eye on is the potential for a LEGO x Epic Games metaverse platform based on users building their own experience. Both companies have that experience, after all. LEGO is, of course, the leader in physical building block play, and also participated in a digital building block game co-produced with Warner Bros. Interactive.
Epic Games has also played with the concept in its blockbuster hit Fortnite, which includes frenetic building tools that enhance the characters’ abilities in the game’s battle royale format. It’s not hard to imagine that Epic and LEGO combined could build an extremely advanced metaverse platform with tools rivalling the long-established metaverses from Roblox and Minecraft.
If our guess is accurate, that would create another expansive world available to licensing companies crossing many different product categories in the area of ‘phygital goods’, which are essentially goods that can be purchased and used in both the virtual and real worlds.
It’s also worth noting that both brands come with a great catalog of IP, with Fortnite contributing its game characters and skins, while LEGO holds licenses for everything from Marvel and DC superheroes, Star Wars, and its own portfolio of LEGO creations, from pirates to first responders.
To learn more about the new positions, check out the job listings below: