Mojang, the creator of Minecraft, has signed a deal with specialist children’s publisher, Egmont Publishing, for book and magazine publishing rights for the virtual world block-building game that has amassed almost 43 million registered users. The publishing rights are for territories excluding the U.S.
There are currently no details on exactly what kind of Minecraft-related publications the U.K.-based publisher will produce, or which markets it plans to launch into, but Egmont confirmed it will launch multiple products next year.
A spokeswoman for the publisher told TechCrunch: “No information on publishing programme/target audience yet as the deal is freshly inked — I can confirm we will be launching next year though.”
“We are working closely with Mojang and with Minecraft enthusiasts to create a range of products that will deliver extra depth and breadth of content to engage and inspire fans and to enhance the experience of playing Minecraft,” she continued. “Minecraft excites and inspires millions of kids around the world and their appetite for content is obvious from the huge success of the online tutorials posted by passionate fans.”
David Riley, Managing Director of Egmont Publishing Group added in a statement: “Publishing rights for this virtual building blocks game represent a huge opportunity for us. The deal is a great fit with Egmont and sits brilliantly amidst our growing portfolio of viral video, social media, virtual world, mobile and online gaming entertainment properties.”
Last month Egmont inked a deal with Rovio to bring out a line of Angry Birds-related children’s books in the U.K. Minecraft’s user base is not quite up there with Angry Birds — which back in May reported monthly active users of its app at 200 million and total downloads at 648 million — but Mojang is pushing the Minecraft brand in similar directions, by for example, bringing out an extensive range of Minecraft merchandise.
Mojang also runs Minecon: a conference for Minecraft enthusiasts — this year taking place in November, at Disneyland Paris — although it says this event is about serving, rather than monetizing the community (it does not seek to make a profit on the event).
“We’re excited to partner with Egmont to bring Minecraft to a new format,” said Carl Manneh, CEO of Mojang, in a statement: “With the help of the amazing Minecraft community we’re confident that we can help create intriguing content.”