Kim Kardashian is probably very proud. She’s made something beautiful this year, and she has nurtured and helped it grow into something amazing.
And she also became a mother.
Developer Glu Mobile’s Kim Kardashian: Hollywood has generated $51 million in revenues since its launch in June, according to industry-intelligence firm SuperData Research. This comes as digital gaming grows as a whole, and mobile gaming is the one of the biggest reasons for that. Digital games, including apps on smartphones, digital downloads on console, and more, made $873 million in September. That’s up 8.6 percent from the same period in 2013. Revenues for mobile gaming are on pace to surpass $20 billion this year, which means more games like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood will have a chance to make big money for their developers.
“After a slowdown during the summer months, consumer spending is picking up momentum as we close in on the holiday season,” SuperData chief executive officer Joost van Dreunen said. “Most notably, social gaming revenues were up month-over-month, and mobile gaming is approaching $300 million in monthly spending in the United States.”
The resurgence of social gaming is good news for developers like Glu. While Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is raking in the cash on mobile, it has the potential to add even more to its earnings by expanding to additional platforms.
“Glu Mobile announced it is expanding the title to Facebook,” said van Dreunen. “Hoping to maximize its appeal to a female gamer demographic, the company also extended its licensing agreement, including Ms. Kardashian West’s continued support in promoting the game via both social media channels and real-life appearances.”
As you might expect, other developers are paying attention to Glu’s success with using a celebrity persona to sell a game.
“[Kim Kardashian: Hollywood] is expected to trigger a run on celebrity-based mobile and social games,” said van Dreunen. “So far, publishers like Zynga have been aggressively licensing slots games that feature well-known television series and films, like Sex and the City and Terminator. Instead of this blanketed approach, however, a targeted strategy and support of a single celebrity is proving highly effective.”
The benefit of using a celebrity over a brand is potentially multifaceted. Like Sex and the City, Kardashian has her own built-in fanbase, but she’s also consistently getting in the news and making headlines. That’s something older properties don’t really have. A deal with a celebrity can also come with its own promotional agreement.
“As the mobile games market begins to saturate, marketing costs have increased,” said van Dreunen. “Celebrities play an increasingly important role both in terms of driving marketing and monetization for mobile games, and we expect more celebrities to lend their name and social media prowess to mobile titles in the foreseeable future.”
I, for one, cannot wait for Amand Bynes: Crazy Taxi.