Kim Kardashian, video game icon? I honestly can’t say covering video games for a living, I ever thought our paths would cross, but the woman who embodies the concept of being famous for being famous apparently has entered a new form of media, video games. The game is called Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, and it’s a massive hit on mobile.
The game, which has Kardashian coaching players through the rigors of being an aspiring celebrity, picking out clothing and dodging mean tweets, is a huge hit for developer Glu Mobile GLUU +1.27%. Since the game launched June 25th, it’s climbed as high as #2 on Apple’s AAPL -0.17% free game charts, but even using the F2P model, the game has reportedly brought in $200M in revenue for Glu on relatively minimal expenses.
The twist is not just that Kardashian has a hit game on her hands (though that alone is mind blowing enough), it’s how much she stands to potentially make from the game.
TMZ believes they’ve seen the fine print of her contract, which gives Kim Kardashian herself 45 percent of net profits. With $200M in revenue and reportedly only about $10M in expenses, that’s about $85M for Kardashian outright.
To put that in perspective, according to Forbes, Kardashian made $28M last year through all her various endeavors. This would be close to triple that for narrating a video game. Forget Troy Baker and Nolan North, Kim Kardashian is the highest paid video game voice actress by a mile, if these figures hold. Though it is said she had a direct hand in much of the game’s design as well. Picking out clothing items, not coding, if I had to guess.
The game has been a godsend to Glu Mobile as well, who has seen their stock rise 42 percent since the launch of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.
“It might be our biggest game of the year,” Chief Executive Officer Niccolo de Masi said in an interview. “We’re not surprised. Kim is a one-of-a-kind talent with an incredibly precise fit to the game engine that we tailored but already had in the company.”
Some may dispute the “one of a kind talent” line, but if Kardashian was savvy enough to see the potential in gaming realm and negotiate a contract like that, she’s doing something right. Though I doubt many people would have guessed a Kim Kardashian video game would do so well. Welcome to mobile games, however, where there are no rules as to what manages to vault its way to the top of the app charts. And hell, at least it isn’t a reskin or clone, right? That’s better than 80% of the other games in the top 100 at any given time.
As of this moment, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is in the #2 spot on Apple’s free app charts, sitting at an impressive five star rating off 100,000+ reviews.
This is a rather incredible story about both the power of mobile games and proper use of celebrity branding. I’m fully expecting other stars to take notice of this, and we may see a pending influx of “Hollywood” style games for other celebrities, if the mobile scene has taught us anything about copycatting hits.