The game, which launches Dec. 17, lets players rise from aspiring artist to pop star with the help of mentor Katy Perry. The game allows for customization of your avatar’s look, for you to create music and shoot videos, and Katy Vision, which let’s players see venues through Perry’s eyes.
Glu wants “KPP” to match the success of its first celebrity game, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”, which became a monster mobile release, generating $74.3 million in 2014. The hope that “Katy Perry Pop” comes out from the shadow of its predecessor is heightened by a big stock loss two weeks ago for Glu.
Glu Mobile’s stock decreased in each of the week’s five trading days, shedding almost 13% of its value in the process. It led to the stock hitting its lowest point in more than two years. This, however, is not uncommon for mobile developers.
Glu’s CEO Niccolo de Masi said finding someone with a strong social media presence is key when developing a game around a celebrity.
“Size of social following, uniqueness of genre, ability to fit the core aspiration of their fan base to the game mechanic are the things that we look for,” Masi said. “If you think about how much money people paid for Super Bowl commercials during her halftime performance in February, we’re effectively channeling that promotional power and brand power to this game.”
Developing games for mobile is very difficult. For one, there are millions of apps available on the app store, and within those millions are thousands of mobile games. It’s easy for games to get lost in the mix. Another problem is that with all those options, players don’t spend much time on one thing before moving to something else. Masi said you have to take into account a number of key factors when creating for mobile.
“You need to have fun core gameplay, you’ve got to have IP (intellectual property) that people respond to, have heard of, can recognize, and you’ve got to figure out how to provide a great free-to-play experience,” said Masi. “Free-to-play is the 95 percent who never spend while also catering to the 5 percent who do spend as that generates the majority of the revenue.”
With Perry’s 79.1 million followers on Twitter compared to Kardashian’s 37.8 million, Masi believes people will come to “Katy Perry Pop” that don’t necessarily consider themselves gamers.
“There could be a lot of people playing Katy’s game, I think, that don’t necessarily consider themselves gamers,” he said. “They’ll probably say ‘I’ve never played a game before but for Katy I will,’ and that’s pretty interesting from a demographic perspective.”
“Katy Perry Pop” releases on Android and iOS.