Manager Phil McIntyre and his Philymack firm are new prospectors in the celebrity mobile app games gold rush.
Launched in partnership with Roc Nation, Jonas Brothers alum Kevin Jonas and investor Steven Forkosh, the freshly minted Philymack Games came out of the gate with Demi Lovato’s Zombarazzie Adventure and DNCE in October, the latter scaling to No. 1 on the iTunes App Store mobile games chart.
McIntyre said that while the focus is on “innovation, forward-thinking and supporting our artists with endeavors beyond music,” it surely doesn’t hurt that celebrity apps can generate mountains of cash while simultaneously engaging fans. The publicly traded Glu Games estimates celeb game apps will generate $1 billion in industry-wide revenue for the five-year period through 2020 (a projected $500 million of that sticking to Glu).
Like most celeb apps, the Philymack games are “freemium,” which means users can download and play free but are offered premium upgrades, which can include anything from outfits ($2.99 for an all-inclusive DNCE rock-star wardrobe) to in-game currency that unlocks special content ($8.99 for 2,000 “stars”). The DNCE game allows users to play as band members Joe Jonas, Jack Lawless, Cole Whittle and JinJoo and features instrumental versions of the group’s tunes and references to their lyrics.
Demi Lovato’s Zombarazzie Adventure is a puzzle game where players help Lovato and her dog slay hoards of hybrid zombie-paparazzi over a course of some 125 levels. Both games are available on iOS and soon drop to Android via the Google Play store.
“In creating these games, we’re catering to each of the talent’s specific built-in audience like never before,” Jonas said, characterizing the product as a complementary brand extension for artist content.
Philymack Games is currently in negotiations to create mobile games for a roster of athletes, personalities and pop culture figures — and hey, the founders’ rolodex is a great place to start.
Roc Nation, founded by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, has a talent pool that ranges from Rihanna to J. Cole and owns the subsidiary Roc Nation Sports.
“We’re excited to venture in to this ever evolving space,” McIntyre said of the gaming world. Adding that on a more personal note, after many years of managing the Jonas Brothers, “I am so proud and happy to once again partner with Kevin Jonas II.”