Toy giant Lego and videogame leader Epic Games joined forces Thursday to launch "Lego Fortnite" in a bid to grow a platform already used by hundreds of millions of people.
The game, which like prior Fortnite offerings is free to download, features the colorful animated landscape familiar to gamers but with figures who come from the Danish company's distinct universe.
While the setting resembles that of the original Fortnite game, first launched in 2017, the playable space in the Lego version is 19 times as big.
In the original Fortnite "Battle Royale," players win by eliminating competitors and remaining the sole survivor on the island.
The Lego game has two options, with the "survival" mode pitting contestants against skeletons and menacing wolf-life figures and the more innocuous "sandbox" option lacking such threats and geared towards younger users.
Thursday's announcement marks the first significant project between Lego and Epic since the company announced in April 2022 that it, along with Sony, would invest $2 billion in the North Carolina company.
The game's designers ensured that all the settings and characters who appear in the game could be built in the real world with Lego pieces.
"We are starting to build a real bridge between the physical and the digital world, which in a way ... has never been done before," said Julia Goldin, chief product and marketing officer at Lego.
Lego also sees an opportunity to "invite a lot more committed digital players to experience the physical world of Lego bricks," Goldin said.
Adam Sussman, president of Epic Games, predicted broad interest for the game.
"This is really a product that is going to attract lots of kids but we also think it will attract teens and adults as well," Sussman said.
Lego Fortnite will compete with massively popular videogames such as Minecraft or Animal Crossing.
"For the industry, it's great to have many hits, not a single hit," Sussman said. "When something is very popular, like this particular genre, the walls are very wide, (and) there's massive opportunities for innovation."
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