Mobile games publisher Glu Mobile has revealed that players spent $600k within its Nicki Minaj: Empire game between its release on 8 December and the end of that month.
The figure was divulged in the company’s quarterly financial results, and came as Glu suggested its upcoming Taylor Swift mobile game may be delayed until the second half of 2017.
$600k in just over three weeks isn’t a paltry amount, but it isn’t a wildfire hit in the context of the mobile games industry. The performance of the Minaj game compares to Glu’s Britney Spears: American Dream, which made $1.1m in its first month and a half on the app stores in 2016, and Katy Perry Pop, which made just $300k in its first full quarter of revenues.
In short, musicians are not paying off for Glu to anywhere near the same extent as its partnership with Kim Kardashian: her game was released back in the second quarter of 2014, yet still generated $6.9m of bookings (player spending) in Q4 2016.
Glu’s management team told investors last night that it won’t be talking about its next game, for Taylor Swift, until its next call – which suggests its release has slipped again to the second half of this year. Glu says it is modelling its revenue predictions for the game “conservatively”.
“This is going to be a very different look and feel to Kim and the other celebrity games we’ve done in the past. We’re really going to innovate here,” said CEO Nick Earl.
“We had a great start with Kim, the follow-up has not been great. And it’s really forced us to take a very hard look at what we want to do with celebrities going forward… this is going to have a very different look, a very different feel and like I said, we’re excited about its potential.”
Glu announced the game in February 2016, saying that it was planning a global release in “late 2016”. In August, the publisher said that the game was now targeting an early 2017 release.
With regular rumours that Swift is working on a new album, the delay may at least ensure her game launch coincides with the star being back ‘in cycle’ promotionally.