China, rejoice: You’re about to have an internet full of Lego.
The Lego Group is hooking up with Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent; the pair of companies say they’ll collaborate “across a broad range of digital content and digital platforms” to create Lego games for Chinese children.
A few plans are in the works. The companies will produce a Lego “video zone” on Tencent’s video platform. They will also develop Lego Boost, an online tool that will let kids recreate their Lego creations online.
Lego and Tencent will explore bringing Lego Life, a Lego-centered social network currently available on the iOS App Store and Google Play, to China, but the plan is to create more online Lego games of all shapes and sizes.
While Lego is moving towards new digital products and markets, the company hasn’t moved away from its core mission of creating toys that are safe and secure for young children. Tencent, of course, is the company behind WeChat, which outlines its privacy protections here. Notably, the policy says monetizing messages via third-party marketing isn’t just forbidden, it’s physically impossible since all messages on WeChat servers are permanently deleted after they are received.
All of the new services will also comply with digital safety policies from both groups. Lego’s was developed with input from UNICEF, with which Lego is a partner. The policy guarantees that moderators will prevent misuse of Lego’s digital products, and that parents will have access to parental controls to regulate their children’s play.
Lego reported its first fall in sales in over a decade in September, and has made a large push towards digital media since. This partnership is a logical step in Lego’s pivot to digital products in an increasingly digital market.