Epic Games is introducing a new type of account for children playing its online multiplayer games. The new accounts, called Cabined Accounts, have some restrictions until a parent or guardian gives their approval for certain features. They will start rolling Fortnite, Rocket Leagueand autumn boys Epic said in a blog post on Wednesday.
If someone tries to create an account and says they are under 13 (or under the age of digital consent for their country), that account will be a Cabined Account. Children using a Cabined account will be able to play Fortnite, Rocket Leagueor Autumn boys, but some key features will be disabled, including text and voice chat, purchasing items with money, and downloading titles from non-Epic developers. You can see the full list of disabled features on the Epic website.
To access these features, a player with a Cabined account will need to obtain consent from a parent or guardian, who may also set up parental control features to tailor the experience for their child. Children under 13 who already have accounts and whose parents/guardians have not yet provided consent will be moved to Cabined Accounts. You can read more details on Epic’s parents page on its website.
These new Cabined accounts have a clear benefit for Epic: The company gives kids a way to try out its popular online games without direct parental consent, which can reduce the likelihood that a child will simply lie about their age to play a game. But by protecting kids from certain online interactions or accidentally spending wads of money on cosmetics while playing without parental approval, Epic is also tacitly encouraging kids and their parents to have an important conversation about their gaming habits and time online. It’s also easy to imagine these cabined accounts expanding to future projects like the kid-focused Epic metaverse being developed with Lego.
Other companies offering major social platforms have also taken steps to create safer accounts for children. Instagram, for example, makes accounts for users under 16 private by default and Roblox offers an age verification feature to verify the age of teenage players.