Since its release in 2011, Mojang studios’ Minecraft has become wildly popular and sold over 200 million copies. For the uninitiated, Minecraft is an open-ended sandbox game with blocklike 3D animation where players create and build worlds; it’s been described as the digital successor to Lego. Now, it’s one of the most popular paid games of all time and last month it launched an exciting new DLC that may have interesting long term consequences for family marketing in the gaming industry.
In late July, Minecraft released a new Spongebob Squarepants DLC—which means players can now explore the famous cartoon’s world of Bikini Bottom and meet block-like versions of the characters from the show while they complete six quests to help Spongebob have “the best day ever”. The Minecraft Spongebob DLC costs 1340 Minecoins (the game’s currency) which is equivalent to $7.78 USD (£6.46 GBP), and will only be available until September.
While both Spongebob and Minecraft have had previous collaborations with other brands, this latest team-up is indicative of Minecraft’s move into easily accessible branded games; which have—until recently—been a near-monopoly of competitor platform, Roblox.
Unlike Minecraft, Roblox isn’t a single game, instead its’ a free-to-use platform with thousands of games and millions of players that has partnered with everyone from Gucci to Kelloggs, to the NFL. Currently, it’s the go-to gaming platform for brand collaborations, though with Minecraft experimenting with more collaborations (other recent ones include Fench sportswear brand Lacoste, and movie franchise Ice Age), we’ll be keeping an eye on branded developments in the months that come.