Dennis the Menace and his dog Gnasher have been playing pranks in print form since 1951, but now they’ve found a new, entirely digital playground: Minecraft.
The Beano publisher DC Thomson has collaborated in an official “mod” for the popular game, replacing default characters and items with Dennis and Gnasher, as well as catapults, rotten tomatoes, stink bombs and Dennis’ nemesis Walter.
The mod is initially being released for the PC version of Minecraft, and was created by Canadian games developer Frima Studios, working with The Beano, which says it may bring other characters to Minecraft if the mod proves popular.
“The Beano has always been about great storytelling, imagination and creativity. Minecraft is a perfect match for us, providing an amazing sandbox for kids to take our characters, tell their own stories, prank their friends and build out Beanotown,” said DC Thomson’s Mark Cotton. “We’d love to expand the pranks and incorporate other Beano characters.”
The mod will be promoted through a review by Minecraft-focused YouTube channel ChooChoosGaming, which has more than 240,000 subscribers:
Mods have become a key ingredient in Minecraft’s popularity, with players able to download – or create for themselves – mods to add new characters, scenery and items to the game.
Many have been shown off in the burgeoning scene of nearly 150,000 Minecraft YouTube channels, with online video firm Octoly recently estimating that Minecraft videos have been watched more than 47 billion times on YouTube.
The new Minecraft mod is the latest element in DC Thomson’s strategy to reimagine The Beano – whch sold two million print magazines a week at its peak – as a digital brand.
In a speech at the Bookseller Children’s Conference in September, the company’s head of commercial Tim Collins admitted that “we’ve made a balls-up of digital” with initiatives like PDF replicas of print comics, but stressed The Beano’s willingness to experiment, particularly around Dennis and Gnasher.
This article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Monday 1st December 2014 07.00 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010