Minecraft is single-handedly saving the children’s book market (for now)

Minecraft has always been book-friendly.

Human children increasingly sport square eyes. Researchers paused the annual Minecon stream during a crowd shot and, using a Set Square, found that the majority of faces were offset by eye sockets at perfect 90-degree angles.

Minecraft’s partly to blame for that – children are having more digital fun than ever before. But paradoxically, it’s also Mojang who’re giving the children’s print market a much-needed boost.

A panel at the Children’s Media Conference last week concluded that the traditional children’s book market is shrinking, thanks to an increasing number of digital distractions. But in the last year, it’s been given a leg-up by its greatest rival.

“Long term, [the market’s] going down, but a nice little fact: the children’s book market year-on-year grew by 11%,” said book publisher Egmont’s international CEO, Rob McMenemy.

The reason? “Minecraft.”

McMenemy was playing the subject for laughs – his company own exclusive publishing rights to the game – and admitted that other factors had helped the market too. But he’s not kidding about Minecraft’s print success. Over Christmas, the Minecraft annual outsold One Direction’s equivalent in the UK.

If you’re looking to add some new life to your Minecrafting, you should check out ourtwenty best Minecraft mods.

Awareness of Minecraft’s cross-media potential is high. Fellow panelist Alice Taylor, chief executive of 3D-printed doll company Makielab, said Minecraft was “making [Mojang] money faster than they can wash themselves with it”.

McMenemy said that there has “never been a better time for the amount of content and rights out there” for children’s market adaptation. So it’s fair to expect more of Minecraft in WHSmiths and elsewhere.

And of course, in cinemas. Mojang are currently “working with” Warner Bros on a “potential” Minecraft movie. What shape would you like to see that take? Don’t say ‘cuboid’, you smart alecks.