The publisher has signed an eight-year licensing deal with the musician to make an official mobile game “featuring the voice, likeness, and creative influence of Ms. Spears” that will launch in the first half of 2016.
Glu is promising fans that they will be able to “experience the glitz and glamour of the entertainment business” – suggesting a focus on Spears’ early pop stardom and recent Las Vegas comeback, rather than the not-quite-as-glitzy years in the middle.
“People like Britney Spears obviously have been successful for more than a decade. They have brand recognition and social following everywhere: not just developed nations but also emerging markets,” said Glu’s chief executive Niccolo de Masi in his company’s earnings call for its latest financial results.
“We can use our partnership with her to expand not only amongst the casual demographic, but also to try and bring new people into gaming that have never played a game before.”
Glu released Kim Kardashian: Hollywood in June 2014 as a game for players to make their way in the entertainment industry, mentored by its star.
The Android and iOS game made $74.3m of revenues by the end of that year, and another $21.3m in the first quarter of 2015, which suggests it will have crossed $100m in revenues by the end of April.
That’s actually not big money by mobile game standards: players of Candy Crush Saga spent more than $110m a month on that game in 2014. But with Kardashian rumoured to be getting a 45% share of her game’s net profits, it’s a significant earner for a celebrity.
Britney Spears is actually the second musician to strike a deal with Glu, since the company announced a partnership with Katy Perry in February 2015 for a game that will be released towards the end of the year. “There is certainly space for more than one female musician in the game sector,” said de Masi.
His company has the financial backing to strike more of these kinds of deals, too. Alongside the Britney Spears announcement, the publisher revealed that Chinese internet giant Tencent has invested $126m for a 14.6% stake in Glu Mobile.
This article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Thursday 30th April 2015 09.14 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010