Stockholm-based Star Stable Entertainment is trotting onto bookshelves with the first publishing effort for its horse-focused Star Stable gaming brand. The book comes nearly 10 years after the launch of the game, and follows less common licensing efforts like music. Soul Riders: Jorvik Calling is the first book in a fantasy trilogy and will launch with retailers across the US on March 24 before rolling out in key markets worldwide later this year (the title is currently available for pre-order through Amazon and Barnes & Noble).
Star Stable is an online multiplayer PC game that lets users solve problems and compete in challenges on horseback in the fantasy world of Jorvik. The game boasts approximately 500,000 unique players each month. Star Stable‘s narrative focuses on four female riders, and the trilogy will include stories not previously covered by the game. The first book will target kids ages nine to 14 and retail at US$8.99.
“Publishing allows us to deepen engagement with our fans and also appeal to older and younger audiences depending on the types of books we launch moving forward,” says Taina Malen, Star Stable Entertainment’s chief business development officer.
The story for Soul Riders: Jorvik Calling was developed by the Star Stable Entertainment team and written by Swedish author Helena Dahlgren. Because the game focuses on strong female characters, Malen said there will be an effort to collaborate with female authors on all upcoming Star Stable books.
Beyond books, Star Stable Entertainment expanded with original music early last year. Produced in-house, the songs are attributed to characters and bands that exist within the game. By linking the music back to the game, Malen says the company hopes to direct new listeners to Star Stable and also provide a fun Easter egg for long-time fans. Star Stable Music is distributed on music sites including iTunes and Spotify.
Before launching its own music, Star Stable Entertainment hopped in the saddle with Nickelodeon star JoJo Siwa in 2018 for a partnership that allowed Star Stable players to interact with Siwa’s avatar and hear her single “Every Girl’s a Super Girl.”
Star Stable first launched in 2011, but Malen says it took years to expand into publishing because the company wanted to ensure it had the bandwidth to put out multiple titles globally. “We have just 160 employees now,” she says. “We have been growing slowly and scaling, and now is the time.”
Moving forwarding, the company is working with partners to expand into additional consumer products categories, and Malen says animated content is also on the horizon.