If there’s one part of culture that the golden era of Hollywood has left with the whole world it’s celebrity. Musicians are no longer simply performers, but style icons and role models (depending on who you ask, and your outlook on life, of course). Celebrities now carry massive brand weight as well, thanks to the explosion of social media over the past five years or more, and signing a deal with a big celebrity can practically ensure success, or at the least a sizeable amount of cash. Celebrities have been used for advertizing for decades, but Glu, a pioneering mobile developer has been creating entire experiences around celebrities, with their biggest success being the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game. Now, they hope to emulate, and indeed overtake, their previous title with Katy Perry Pop.
The new Katy Perry game is naturally an explosion of color and questionable fashion choices, but Glu’s Chief Executive, Nicolo De Masi said that it was much than that and is “is about how you make decisions and progress through life in the music industry.” The title will see players explore North America and the globe as they tour as part of Katy Perry’s notorious ticket-selling stadium tours and it will see social interaction on a scale that wasn’t found in Glu’s Kim Kardashian title. For some of us, these sort of releases might seem silly, but for Glu and indeed Perry herself, this is big business. Glu put roughly 30 or so developers on Katy Perry Pop and it reportedly took a year to develop from the ground up. The launch of the game itself is timed to match the final legs of Katy Perry’s latest tour, which means she’ll be able to interact with fans herself and will be able to “broadcast to the entire audience via a news feed.”
Games like these are undoubtedly targeted towards a younger, and dare I say it more female audience, but Glu are taking it all very seriously, as they should where money is involved. For Perry, this will end up as yet another portal to her fans, which will neatly coincide with her hundreds of million fans online through Twitter and Instagram. Whether or not these deals become the norm is unclear, but Glu have certainly create a blueprint for this sort of thing, and it’s only a matter of time before some other mobile developer tries their hand with another willing celebrity.