Glu signs Nicki Minaj and Jason Statham for new mobile games

The success of Glu's Kim Kardashian game helped the company beat estimates in the second quarter

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
August 5, 2015
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Last week I wrote an article about all of the celebrities who were getting into the tech scene, from actors to athletes to singers to... whatever it is that Kim Kardashian does. 

That last one is actually the most important. Kardasian made a huge splash with own mobile game, called Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The game, which launched last year, has been so successful that it has caused Glu, the gaming company behind the game, to try to replicate that success with multiple other celebrities, including Britney Spears and Katy Perry.

Now the company has revealed its next two celebrity partners. First it announced a partnership with hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj.

The company has access to Minaj’s name, likeness, voice, and creative direction to develop a game that will launch worldwide a year from now, in the summer of 2016. Details of the game are not being revealed right now.

The second partnership is a new director for Glu, as it is partnering with movie star Jason Statham for its first action game, called Sniper X: Kill ConfirmedStatham marks Glu’s first male celebrity partner, and it hopes that he will "bring a new audience demographic to the company’s growing celebrity gaming portfolio."

It's no surprise that Glu would take the success of the Kardasian game and run with it, grabbing other celebrities along they way, considering how the game lifted the company's second quarter earnings, which were also released on Tuesday.

The game was expected to rake in $200 million last year, and has been so successful that, in April, it actually caused Glu to raise its revenue outlook for the full year to between $262 million and $287 million. It has previously forecasted it to between $245 million to $275 million.

In the second quarter, Glu reported non-GAAP revenue of $57.5 million, a 64 percent increase year-to-year, and higher than the $51.5 million consensus estimate. Its EPS of $0.01, while analysts had been expecting a loss of $0.04.

One of the drivers of all that growth: Kim Kardashian and her game. 

“During the quarter, our results were underpinned by the continued strength of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Racing Rivals, Deer Hunter 2014 and Contract Killer: Sniper. We were also pleased with the robust performance of Tap Sports Baseball 2015 and Cooking Dash 2016 out of the gates," Niccolo de Masi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Glu, said in a statement.

With games starrin Perry, Kardashian, Spears, Minaj, Statham, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Glu’s celebrity gaming platform is now supported by nearly 650 million total social followers.

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