Blizzard Entertainment has announced that their popular World of Warcraft series will be expanding to reach younger audiences with World of Warcraft: Traveler, a new children’s book series created in partnership with Scholastic, based on the video game franchise (source: GameSpot).
The books will be aimed at children of 8-12 years, meaning that the video game series – rated T for Teen – will likely be adapted to suit younger audiences. The first hardcover book is expected to release this November in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, with a sequel to follow in 2017.
Traveler is set in Azeroth, surrounding a “young cast of Warcraft characters discovering the mysteries and majesty of the world around them.” The novel is written by Young Justice and The Spectacular Spider-Man author Greg Weisman.
The first book will include sketches by Samwise Didier of Blizzard Entertainment, with the cover art will be the work of Stephane Belin – another of the studio’s artists.
Blizzard’s story and franchise VP Chris Metzen released a statement expressing the company’s enthusiasm for the project:
“We’re excited to be collaborating with Scholastic on a series that will bring Azeroth to life for a whole new audience.”
“Greg Weisman is an accomplished writer who’s really gotten to the heart and soul of Warcraft with the characters he’s developed here” he continued, “we’re thrilled with the work he’s done on World of Warcraft: Traveler.”
Traveler’s official plot description can be read below (via. GameSpot):
“It’s been years since twelve-year-old Aramar Thorne, a clever boy who is never without his precious sketch book, has seen his father. So when Captain Greydon Thorne comes ashore and asks his son to join him at sea, it feels as if someone has redrawn Aram’s entire world. Before he knows it, Aram is aboard the Wavestrider with Lakeshire fading to a distant dot on the horizon. But the thrill of adventure quickly fades, as Greydon relentlessly schools Aram on how to handle his cutlass and how to relate with the strange and diverse creatures of Azeroth. In addition, Aram struggles to get along with the Wavestrider’s crew–especially second mate Makasa, a tough teenaged girl who has been reluctantly placed in charge of him.
Just as Aram starts to get his head above water, a band of vicious pirates attack the Wavestrider, turning his world upside down once again. As Aram tries to find his way home with his father’s compass in hand, he’ll travel across Azeroth’s beautiful and hostile terrain, encountering creatures both terrible and wondrous. He’ll seek to understand Azeroth’s denizens as he draws them in his sketchbook, forming unlikely friendships along the way. But the journey is hindered by Greydon’s compass, which never points north. If the compass isn’t leading Aram and Makasa home–to safety–to what destiny is it leading them?”
Both the Warcraft film and the next World of Warcraft expansion are also scheduled for a 2016 release. The film hits cinemas this June, whilst the expansion will release for PC “before September 21.” The expansion marks the sixth in the series, and will raise the level cap to 110 whilst introducing a new Demon Hunter class and more.