CARY – Epic Games’ worldwide megahit Fortnite adds a new dimension of “worldbuilding” today, going live with a new game LEGO Fortnite. 

The title is backed by two giants in their respective industries.

Yes, those globally popular and enduring, likable bricks and characters that generate $9 billion a year in revenues for LEGO are now available to build digitally just about anything within safe guidelines crafted by the two companies.

Epic is privately held and valued at more than $32 billion, its game engine technology being one of the most utilized in gaming and other digital realms such as near-lifelike computer generated imagery (CGI).

Like Fortnite, you and gamers of all ages can play it for free.

And it’s part of the Fortnite theme: Survival crafting.

Yes, some Fortnite characters take on LEGO like appearances – with more to come, the partners say.

Yes, players can use Fortnite tools such as “chaos physics and destruction” that “give players the ability to place, connect and break apart bricks just like they would in the real world.”

And there’s much more to come. ” The two companies are also using Unreal Engine to build digital twins for thousands of physical LEGO elements, and are working to make these available for creators across the Fortnite Ecosystem,” Epic says.

Here’s how one parent and Fortnite player tells TechWire about the new game:

  • “Since Fortnite features building it will be fun to see how that translates to the most famous building toys that exist.
  • “Iconic characters turned into LEGO creations will also help attract a younger audience.
  • “I wonder how popular LEGO skins [characters] will appear in game and if their hands will be able to grasp weapons.
  • “The LEGO brand is so iconic, this opens the door for so many collaborations like LEGO Batman.”

LEGO joins Fortnite (Epic Games image)

“LEGO Fortnite offers players a new way to express themselves through worldbuilding and is an important step forward in the evolution of the Fortnite ecosystem,” says Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. “We look forward to continuing to partner with The LEGO Group to build immersive digital play spaces that are fun for kids and all types of players.”

The game launch follows a recent record-setting Fortnite event that drew a worldwide crowd.

It’s also non-court/legal news which has so dominated Epic news over the past two years – antitrust battles with Apple and Google that center around Fortnite and its ban from both tech giant’s app stores.

Take that, Apple & Google: Fortnite scores biggest weekend ever

Epic also made substantial layoffs at Cary and across its international footprint while selling some subsidiaries.

And it settled a dispute with the Federal Trade Commission for a record total of more than $500 million, including a fine and customer reimbursement,s

Questions remain unanswered as well about Epic’s planned new headquarters at the site of the now-leveled Cay Towne Center.

But on Thursday Epic is highlighting its gaming prowess.

LEGO, Epic transforms bricks into digital play pieces, characters

LEGO, whose parent company is an investor in Epic, worked with the Cary-based company to utilize Epic’s Unreal game engine to design and insert the new game within the realm of Fortnite. Fortnite already has hundreds of millions of players, reportedly generates billions of dollars in revenue, and is adding more games to its universe shortly.

“Our partnership with Epic Games is focused on developing digital play experiences that are designed to be fun and safe, and have the potential to bridge the worlds of physical and digital play to inspire kids,” says Niels B Christiansen, CEO of The LEGO Group. Together with Epic Games, we are building digital worlds designed with kids in mind from the outset – we hope other creators and brands are inspired to do the same.”

Epic notes that players can:

  • Collect food and resources, craft items, and battle enemies solo or with friends
  • Build shelter for defense and customize your ultimate home base, then recruit villagers to gather materials and help them survive the night
  • Gear up and drop into deep caves in search of rare resources, hidden areas and enemies

The game also includes a variety of parental controls and is rated E10+.

LEGO also uses the Unreal engine for games such as LEGO DREAM and LEGO NINJAGO.