IT IS the blocky freeform building game that looks like a relic from a previous computer era, yet has gripped millions of video gamers around the world.
The global phenomenon that is Minecraft already has several books, 42 million YouTube videos, a soundtrack and countless blogs dedicated to it, not to mention a big budget film in development from the makers of The Lego Movie. Now a monthly magazine is to be published in the UK solely about the "open world" game that has no specific goals.
Dennis Publishing has teamed up with Mojang, creator of Minecraft (acquired by Microsoft in a $2.5bn deal last year), to produce Minecraft World. The £3.99 magazine aimed at seven to 11-year-olds will appear in shops at the end of next month with a print run of 45,000.
"Dennis Publishing will have the first unofficial Minecraft magazine on sale in the UK," said Dennis's Dharmesh Mistry. "There was a real gap in the market for a quality print magazine that could help children develop their game strategy."
Dennis has also signed a deal with Mojang to use certain trademark images and intellectual property so the magazine looks the part, although the deal doesn't extend to the title being an officially licensed Minecraft product. W H Smith, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons will stock it.
Despite the game's popularity, not everyone thinks the magazine will fly off the shelves. An industry insider who did not want to be named said: "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 the game 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 it lasts beyond a year."
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