Minecraft, the multi-billion-dollar indie game that has spawned countless knock-offs, thousands of free mods, a major convention and (potentially) a big-screen movie (as we previously reported in the Inquisitr) has now spawned something oddly archaic: a print magazine.
The Guardian reports that Dennis Publishing, publishers of hobby/shopping magazines in the UK such as MacUser, PC Pro, and Auto Express have struck a deal with Minecraft creators Mojang – acquired late last year by Microsoft for $2.5 billion USD – to publish the first (unofficial) Minecraft magazine. The agreement includes a trademark deal to use certain trademarked images and other pieces of intellectual property in Minecraft World, but does not include the right to call Minecraft World an officially-licensed title.
Minecraft World will be a 52-page magazine targeted at children aged 7-11, and will retail for £3.99 (a little over $6). About 20 percent of the player base for Minecraft, which has sold over 60 million copies as of October 2014, is in the under 15 demographic, as per the Minecraft Seeds blog. The initial print run of Minecraft World will be 45,000 copies and will be distributed in WH Smith, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and a selection of independent retailers.
In spite of Minecraft’s popularity and the incredible range of products and offshoots it’s spawned (free or otherwise), many remain skeptical of the magazine’s ability to compete. One unidentified industry insider shared their thoughts with The Independent.
“There are more than 40 million videos on YouTube on just about every aspect of Minecraft you can think of. How can a 52-page magazine for four quid compete?”
“Plus [Minecraft] is constantly updating, so my kids aren’t going to wait a month to see if a magazine keeps up. Someone will have uploaded a video the next day to help them. Good luck to the publishers, but I’ll be surprised if [Minecraft World] lasts beyond a year.”
It’s not necessarily wrong – the amount of free, ad-paid content for Minecraft is truly staggering – but how many parents will know that? How many will spend a few dollars to bring their kids home something fun with a recognizable name on the cover? How many young children will want it for exactly that reason?
The world has certainly changed a lot since I grew up, but it wasn’t uncommon for my father to bring a gaming magazine home just to make my brother and I happy – and Dennis Publishing probably understands this phenomenon much better than I do. It’s likely why they didn’t aim Minecraft World at the game’s largest demographic in the first place.
Readers, what do you think? Will Minecraft World succeed or flop in the modern world?
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]