If you like to get your news online, then you’ll know that it was impossible to avoid reading today about how Glu Mobile is following its mega hit, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood (Free), with a game starring the rejuvenated 90s icon, Britney Spears (there’s also a Katy Perry game on the way). Although Glu’s financial news was also fascinating, with the Chinese Internet giant, Tencent, buying 126 million dollars worth of Glu’s stocks (and in that way declaring its faith in Glu’s “Hollywood Gaming Platform" plan), what caught my attention was the incredible reach of an announcement regarding Britney starring in a mobile game. As I was browsing the news, I realized once more that even though many “hardcore" gamers feel that gaming resides in the traditional genres that have been around for many years, for most people outside the bubble of “traditional" gaming, a Britney Spears game by Glu, which many readers of this site won’t bother playing even once, is pretty much synonymous with contemporary gaming.
Most gamers will admit, often begrudgingly, that F2P games like Kim Kardashian (which made 100 million dollars since its launch in 2014) are very popular, but they’ll often add the caveat that those entertaining themselves with such games aren’t “real gamers." Yet, the face of gaming is being transformed in front of our eyes, with a “Britney Spears is making a game" article appearing in The Guardian, Time, New York Post, People Magazine, ABC News, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, and the list goes on and on (and, of course, in most gaming media too). Google “mobile gaming" while you are reading this article, and see what results you’ll get. Tencent’s investment, along with the fact that Glu has signed a contract with Britney for at least 5 years, also shows that most analysts do not foresee the popularity of these kinds of F2P games waning any time soon.
So, I guess the question is whether deals like Glu’s Britney one are more evidence of how gaming has permanently transformed in the last few years with “traditional gamers" increasingly becoming a minority. Before you say “who cares," remember that investors look for safe investments, and games like the new Britney one seem as safe as anything else on the market right now. Do you think that games with as broad a reach and popularity as Britney’s and Kim Kardashian’s F2P games are too “Toxic" for the future of “traditional gaming," or are we beyond the point where a distinction between “traditional" and “non-traditional" games matters, or even exists?