For those big LEGO fans out there, news from Comic Con last week was the announcement of two new Minecraft kits. We previously reported on the partnership in January 2012 and since then LEGO have released the CUUSOO set. The Village and Nether sets are to be released from the beginning of September. This begs us to ask whether we are seeing games companies move back to tangible objects to sell their brand? Lydia Winters, Mojang’s director of fun said, “Given our similarities, Minecraft and LEGO building have always been a great match,” adding further, “After the excitement over the first set, we were delighted to extend the line and continue our partnership with The LEGO Group.”
With this model, fans can create and customize their own Minecraft village with LEGO bricks. Just like the game, fans can build houses, grow crops and explore the mines in their own micro-world as well as play out their own storylines with Pig, Villager and Zombie constructible Micromob figures.
Builders can create the Minecraft Obsidian Portal and The Nether to explore the newest biome with this micro-scale LEGO model, complete with Netherrack, gravel, flowing lava and bedrock. This model includes two Ghasts and one Zombie Pigman constructible Micromob figures.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a games company partner up with a supplier to distribute merchandise. If a company gets its target market correct and delivers a stunning product, users will purchase the game without a problem. However there seems to be a ceiling to the amount of revenue a company can get from in-app purchases and advertising, hence more companies are seeking new ways of increasing their profits. This is becoming a new trend within the gaming industry, such as Rovio for example, have over 250 partnerships and announced earlier this year that a staggering 45% of revenue comes from ‘real-life’ goods, such as stuffed toys and candy. Surely this is enough evidence to illustrate that merchandising a games company can be a smart idea.
Is there room for concern though, do we really want to see every successful games company releasing bath towels, ice lollies or lunch boxes? Understandably LEGO and Minecraft compliment each other nicely and therefore there is middle ground. If the users are happy to see the games company merchandise the brand, that can only be a good thing for both parties. Will we soon see the likes of Supercell (Hay Day & Clash Of Clans) making soft toys and King (Candy Crush Saga) merchandising confectionary? Time will tell..