This week, Epic Games sought to make its platforms -- like the popular metaverse gaming space Fortnite -- safer for younger players, rolling out a new type of account for kids that requires parental consent before they are able to make in-game store purchases or download software.
Epic Games called these account “cabined accounts” in a recent statement, saying they will provide “a tailored experience that is safe and inclusive for younger players using the store or launcher.”
“As we work toward the future open metaverse, companies building social experiences need to think about how to meet the challenges and raised expectations that come when kids participate in an online ecosystem,” the company stated in a blog post.
Now, when players log in to the Epic Games Store, or Fortnite, Rocket League, and Fall Guys, they will see a one-time request for their age. They will have a cabined account if they indicate they are under 13.
Gamers will still be able to play these games with access to items and game content they had previously purchased or earned, gamers with cabined accounts will need to provide a parent or guardian's email address and obtain consent from them to use certain features, such as chat and purchasing.
Once a player receives parental consent, they will no longer have a cabined account, and their experience will align with their parent or guardian’s preferred parental control settings.
Epic Games has a massive following, reporting over 500 million accounts less than a year ago. That number likely has since increased.
Fortnite (which users don’t need a specified Epic Games account to play) is the most popular Epic offering, with over 400 million registered players across the globe, 83 million of them playing at least once a month. Around 40% of those players are under the age of 18.