HarperCollins has been named the publishing licensee in the U.S. and Canada for Roblox, an online entertainment platform. Each month, more than 60 million fans of all ages spend more than 780 million hours on Roblox, creating, playing, and discussing games. The platform has become a top online entertainment destination for kids and teens in both average monthly visits and time spent, according to comScore.
What was the appeal for HarperCollins? “In short, everything about it,” said Rich Thomas, v-p and publishing director for HarperCollins Children’s Books. “It’s ubiquitous. It’s a gaming platform, it’s a social media platform, and it’s all user-generated content on top of that. It’s really impressive how Roblox has engaged the fans and has invested in its community of developers and users.”
The first three books will include The Roblox Character Encyclopedia, which comes with an exclusive collectible action figure (a first for HarperCollins) of Roblox’s popular Builderman avatar; Roblox Top Adventure Games, the initial title of a series, which features insider tips for the platform’s most popular titles in the adventure genre; and Inside the World of Roblox, which focuses on emerging games and includes contributions from creators in the Roblox community.
“The books are full of that user-generated content,” Thomas said. “That’s really unusual—it’s probably even unprecedented for a licensed book. But it wouldn’t be a real Roblox experience without that. It’s the community that is the brand.”
Roblox and Egmont—which was named the global master publishing licensee for the property in October 2017—granted the rights. Egmont is driving the development of the publishing program, with its sublicensees around the world, including HarperCollins, weighing in on some of the content. The first three titles will release globally in fall 2018.