Woolworths Wakes Up, Realises Minecraft Is A Thing

"How do you do fellow kids, tell me more of your 'Mining Craft'..."

This is hilarious. Woolworths is getting into Minecraft. Bear with me here, this is probably going to take some explaining...

So, if you shop at Woolworths you may have noticed the tellers asking you if you "collect the cards"? I am a parent so I do collect the cards. If you don't have children it's likely that you don't collect the cards.

What are the cards?

It's called 'Ancient Animals' and basically it's a set of collectable cards that you receive every time you spend a set amount of money at Woolworths. My two-year-old (like most two-year-olds) loves dinosaurs, so he loves the Ancient Animals gimmick. He loves the cards because they have dinosaurs and what-not on them.

What does this have to do with Minecraft? Well... Woolworths is now attempting to take its Ancient Animals INTO Minecraft for some reason.

(That reason probably being that every kid on the planet is obsessed with Minecraft).

I'm going to post the opening paragraphs of this press release because it's the best:

Woolworths is bringing the world of ancient animals to life in a new virtual world with the global gaming phenomenon, Minecraft.
In a world first for supermarkets, Woolworths has worked with developers to create a custom Ancient Animals in Minecraft ‘map’ that allows children to explore the habitats of dinosaurs and discover more about their history.
Minecraft is a game that challenges players to be creative and build any kind of structure made from 3D cubes, and has a 13+ year age recommendation. It has been dubbed a ‘sandbox’ video game because it allows users to play around, explore and create what they want, like kids in a sandpit.
Since its launch in 2011, more than 70 million users around the world have been mining and crafting blocks within a large world of varying terrains and habitats.

That might be the best description of Minecraft I've ever read. It's a 'sandbox' video game because it allows children to explore... like kids in a sandpit!


Essentially, Woolworths has worked with developers to create a Minecraft map where children can interact with the Ancient Monsters from their card game. From the press release: "Ancient Animals in Minecraft will help children learn about the prehistoric world. The game is designed to foster creativity, logic and problem solving, creativity and team work."

"We’re excited about the opportunity to work with Minecraft in a world first for a supermarket chain," said Woolworths Head of Sponsorships and Events, Karen Madden It’s a landmark move for us to be able use this gaming technology to inspire and entertain our customers.

"Not only does Minecraft extend the educational and creative aspect of our Ancient Animals Collectibles program but also creates a form of learning for families that is fun and interactive. We’re looking forward to seeing what children create in these new worlds."

Jokes aside -- this is an interesting move, and it's testament to the mainstream power of Minecraft and it's influence among young children. Could you have imagined this happening two, three years ago? It's crazy.

And I do sympathise with Woolworths to an extent. Sure, this is a scheme to attract children and -- therefore -- parents to shop at Woolworths over Aldi or Coles, but communicating the message of Minecraft to a certain subset of parents must be a nightmare.

Regardless -- still better than Curtis Stone. YOUR MOVE COLES.

Also: this exists.


    I had to lol at the sandpit thing - sandbox (computer term) is derived from the US name for sandpits; sandboxes. So essentially what they wrote is, "it's called a sandpit, because it's like a sandpit".

      So essentially what they wrote is, "it's called a sandpit, because it's like a sandpit".

      Erm not even close.

    Hang on, neither the article nor the press release actually says what Woolworths is doing (unless I'm too drunk to understand)...

      Didn't you read? Minecraft! MINECRAFT!!

      PS - I'm pretty confused as well.

        Sorry -- I did a pretty bad job of explaining! Added a couple more lines for clarification.

          You're a good man, Mark. We'll keep you.

      Spend money at Woolies and they give you collecting cards with dinosaurs on them. Standard collect the set kinda thing.
      They have also commissioned a minecraft map that has dinosaurs in it for kids to login to and explore. Spend time playing, work out which cards you don't have based on the animals in the minecraft map, nag your parents to shop at woolies rather than coles so you can get the cards you are missing.

        Okay small hitch - I'll wager 70% of kids playing Minecraft at the moment are doing it in Console - unless they've figured out how to get that map onto consoles they've failed at the first hurdle

    I work at woolies, have done for quite some time, am a few rungs up from bootlicker and know a reasonable amount about the inner workings of the company. I also had to come to kotaku to find out about this, I do wish the inter-company information train would run on time.

      It runs perfectly, its a system where nothing can possibly go wron.

      Which is fantastic to hear because I also work at Woolworths in Perishables (Longlife if your're a scrub) as probably the lowest ranked human on earth and yet I still help the store with some of its IT, including seeing this map. It's funny how these things work

        Yeah, I'm the IT help guy whenever folk at my store have problems with the computer machines, rewired a busted temp gun to get it working again (dusting off some old electronic skills I forgot I had) and all around problem solver.
        And didn't they merge perishables into longlife a few years back? :P

          Yes I'm technically Longlife, however my job is purely dealing with the Perishables work-load. I love the temp gun at our store, between filling the milk fridge (from behind so now customers, radio, or other people at all) and checking the temps and logging the data in the book I'm a total nerd at our store. Being one of the few 17 year olds that can do my job whilst being paid half as much as a 20 year old really makes me popular though ;)

      Which is fantastic to hear because I also work at Woolworths in Perishables (Longlife if your're a scrub) as probably the lowest ranked human on earth and yet I still help the store with some of its IT, including seeing this map. It's funny how these things work

    99.9% sure this originated when some middle management nobody was caught playing Minecraft at work.

    "WHAT'S THIS?"
    "umm.... researching a... err... marketing initiative? yes... thats it."

    Sounds like Woolworths are the "Ancient Animals" in this scenario.

      WW has been making a few technological leaps lately that give me hope for the future but yes you are mostly right, we are the ancient animals in this scenario.

        WW has been making a few technological leaps lately

        You haven't tried using their online shopping system have you?

          OK, by lately I mean the last 2 months, and I know they are still so far behind but bless their little hearts they are trying :P

        They still run a whole bunch of XP. A friend of mine started there doing IT. All XP everywhere.

          to be fair to XP, it is still a good OS, and the age of the machines we have I wouldn't want to see them run anything more resource intensive.

            Surely no business is still using machines from the pre Win7 release date - 2009. That's 6 years. Even machines from 8 years ago would probably have run 7 fine, it wasn't exactly a monster. 8 and 8.1 were even more efficient.

            The problem is departments that work with payments using an OS that is no longer supported and is an open security hole.

              You would be surprised. I work in Coles IT and I'm pretty sure some of these store computers and registers are a decade old haha.

    Good reason why i don't play Minecraft anymore. When i hear kids talk about the game and want to join in, i can't as i get that creepy old guy look from them and the parents.

      I had that problem too, but then I started wearing pants and the parents generally had less of an issue.



    This is huge. Depending on the success of this Woolworths or even Coles may partner with other games for cross promotion. I can definitely see a Lego games cross promotion working.

    As someone who works for woolies, I'm aware of the loss they recorded recently. Especially with the fail that is masters. This is quite the genius promotion. Regardless of your opinion of Minecraft.

    If the intent is educational why are they using the dinosaur concepts from the early 1900s?Jurassic World at least had a cheap in-universe justification to do so!

      Because if I were a parent, Dino-Riders and Dino-Saucers (with possibly a hint of Dinotopia) would be considered the primary - if not sole - sources of paleontology. Confirmation bias leads me to believe that other parents and marketers must surely be operating on similar principles.

        It's all about dinosaur train for my six year old.

    Flew over their heads - this is a parody vid guys, not an official promotion :D

    Besides, there's no dinosaurs in MC etc.

    That was so cute seeing them try and explain Minecraft. Its like when my dad tries to talk to me about computers hahaha

    fellow kids


    I work at the secret woolworths online store and this is the first I've heard of this.

    Just waiting for Coles to get WWE'S Ryback for a commercial so he can yell at Curtis Stone to "Wake Up! It's Feeding Time!"

    What would be even cooler is if Woolies didnt offer their butchers redundancies and scrap all their fresh meat to save some dollars.

    Absolute daylight crooks.

    @mdolley, the real question is have you?
    WW have updated their online site recently and provided you can adapt to change and keep up with technology it is a step in the right direction.

    You can download it here:

    Its a 122 mb zip file with no instructions on how to install it. (but you just unzip and drop it into your saves folder.) It actually looks pretty cool. No mods needed. There are NPCs to talk to with quest markers, a huge museum to explore and portals to "worlds" to explore to find dinosaurs. Each world has a task to complete and you get a skeletal piece to return to the museum. There is a supermarket (ha) in the back where you can find apples, bananas and toy dinosaurs to take you to the portal. There are dinosaurs wandering everywhere in the worlds! Its actually really well done imo.

    Last edited 15/10/15 6:10 pm

    Would have actually appreciated some gameplay footage of what the mod looks like, is it good etc.

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