Kim Kardashian probably won't make $85m from her mobile game this year

Kim Kardashian's income in 2013 was $28m according to Forbes, which is a pretty startling statistic. But not as startling as claims this week that the reality TV star could earn $85m in 2014 from her official mobile game alone.

Celebrity news website TMZ is the source for the latter number, claiming that Kardashian will get 45% of the net profits for Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which was released for Android and iOS in late June.

TMZ's sources on the terms Kardashian's business contracts are likely to be strong, but the $85m figure is still based on speculative maths, to say the least.

"The game – Kim Kardashian: Hollywood – is set to gross a reported $200 million this year alone. We're told the actual expenses associated with the business are relatively low. A straight 45% cut of $200 million totals a whopping $90 million. Industry sources tell TMZ ... expenses would not exceed $10 million.

So ... we're no mathematicians, but 45% of $190 million is $85.5 MILLION FREAKING DOLLARS."

It's logical enough, but note the "reported $200 million this year alone" figure. This is drawn from a report by Bloomberg last week, and an estimate from a single analyst – Cowen & Co's Douglas Creutz – that the game's annual revenues may reach $200m.

Not this year, then – annual revenues of $200m would suggest a little under $100m for the game in 2014 – so more like $40.5m for Kim, which is still a mightily-big number.

The game is certainly proving popular and lucrative. At the time of writing, it's the fifth top-grossing iPhone app in the US, albeit 22nd in the same rankings for iPad.

In the UK, it's third and 13th respectively on those charts. It's firmly inside the top 10 grossing Android apps too in both countries.

The game's publisher, Glu Mobile, provided its shareholders with a trading update yesterday (16 July) announcing that not only had Kim Kardashian: Hollywood beaten its previous single-day revenue from a single game (Deer Hunter 2014), but that it had beaten that record in 16 of the last 18 days.

(Glu hasn't given the actual figures involved, but as a guide, Deer Hunter 2014 averaged $304k a day in the last quarter of 2013, and $191k a day in the first quarter of 2014. Its single-day revenue record will be higher than the first of those figures, then.)

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.

To make $200m in a year, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood would need average daily revenues of $548k. That's certainly not a ridiculous goal: one of the top mobile games publishers, Supercell, averaged $2.44m a day in 2013 when it only had two games available.

So yes, Kim Kardashian is making a lot of money from her official mobile game, but no, she's extremely unlikely to trouser $85m from it this year: based on its release date of 25 June, it would have to average just over $1m a day for the rest of the year to make that magic $200m.

But the fact remains that all this speculation is based on a single big number said in an interview by a single analyst at a time when Kim Kardashian: Hollywood had only been out for 15 days.

Games can have long runs in the upper reaches of the app store top grossing charts: Clash of Clans has been out for 314 days, Candy Crush Saga for 609 days, Minecraft for 971 days, and Zynga Poker for 1,313 days, for example, and they're all still making lots of money.

But games can fall away too: if Glu doesn't update Kim's game often enough, or if it releases an update that annoys many of its players, or if something comes along that they're more interested in...

Suffice to say, whatever happens with the game, Kim will end 2015 being really, really rich. It's just that it's far too early to tell how many MILLION FREAKING DOLLARS her mobile game will contribute to that fortune.


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