Microsoft and Twentieth Century Fox have teamed up for official The Simpsons content packs for Minecraft’s Xbox editions, which will launch in late February as downloadable content for the games.
Players will pay $1.99 for the pack, which besides Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie will also feature 19 other characters from the popular animated sitcom.
Microsoft has told owners of Minecraft on other platforms – PC, PlayStation devices, smartphones and tablets – to “stay tuned” on availability for their devices. The company paid $2.5bn to buy the game’s developer, Mojang, in 2014.
“We have an active community of more than 17 million die-hard Minecrafters on Xbox Live enjoying the wide range of downloadable content on Xbox, and they have been clamouring for us to bring Simpsons characters to the game,” said Microsoft’s Xbox chief Phil Spencer.
The Simpsons are not the first brand to launch officially-sanctioned add-ons (or “skin packs”) for Minecraft. Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel Avengers, Mass Effect, Skyrim and Halo are among those available for Xbox One already.
In December, meanwhile, publisher DC Thomson launched a Minecraft mod for its Dennis and Gnasher characters, originally made famous in comic The Beano.
Minecraft has been downloaded 100m times on various devices since its launch as a PC game in 2009. This month, Mojang announced that the game’s Pocket Edition for smartphone and tablets had reached 30m sales.
When Microsoft announced that it was buying Mojang, Spencer promised to continue maintaining Minecraft on non-Xbox and PC platforms “in all the ways people love today, with a commitment to nurture and grow it long into the future”.
Its deal for The Simpsons suggests that from now on, Xbox players will be getting first dibs on prominent new content packs for the game.
That said, another upcoming spin-off – adventure game called Minecraft: Story Mode – has already been confirmed for release on PlayStation, Mac and mobile devices as well as PC and Xbox.
This article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Friday 16th January 2015 15.03 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010