If you read a lot of books in grade school, you'll remember the name Scholastic. Those purveyors of children's literature and traveling book fairs will partner with slightly less kid-friendly Blizzard to bring earth's most popular MMO to the library. World of Warcraft: Traveler is a series of books aimed at ages 8-12, and represents a collaboration between Blizzard's loremasters and writer Greg Weisman to bring the Warcraft world to a young, literate audience. With illustrations from several Blizzard artists and publishing by Scholastic, World Of Warcraft: Traveler is sure to introduce several new readers to their first tantalizing taste of Blizzard's IP.
Weisman has worked on multiple big-name properties before, including The Spectacular Spider-Man and Disney's Gargoyles. Artists Samwise Didier and Stephane Belin have many points to their credit as well, across numerous Blizzard titles. Several novel and manga products already feature the canon of World of Warcraft, but (most) are aimed at the same age demographic as the majority of Blizzard products. Widening their customer base like this represents a continuing dedication to the aging workhorse of World of Warcraft, which has been perceived in recent years as losing players to attrition, grind-fatigue, and newer MMOs. Though remaining the leader in MMOs worldwide, that position is increasingly threatened by upstart competition eager to carve out some marketshare.
With unfounded rumors over the possibility of going free-to-play swirling for years, it seems like attracting a younger audience is one way that the World of Warcraft might stay relevant, over a decade past its inception and increasingly showing it's age. Between the digital CCG Hearthstone and various efforts to diversify what the Warcraft brand is, it's safe to conclude that Blizzard is looking outward when searching for ways to keep their IP fresh for the long haul, rather than relying on ever-rising level caps to maintain existing players.
World of Warcraft: Traveler will be available from Scholastic in November of 2016 for first-time readers and experienced raiders alike.