Blogs & Comment

Winners & Losers: Glu Mobile snags Katy Perry, Typo comes unbuttoned

Ryan Seacrest last seen pawing helplessly at iPhone

▲ Glu Mobile

No Left Shark, no deal

Screenshot of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

The San Francisco–based company announced it’s partnering with Katy Perry to create a new mobile game featuring the singer, threatening to produce a black hole of inanity powerful enough to swallow us all while generating a lot of revenue for Glu Mobile. Glu, which has an office in Toronto, scored a massive and unlikely hit last year with Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. It’s been downloaded more than 28 million times, and people collectively spent 11 billion minutes that they’ll never get back playing it, according to the company. Released in June, the game also accounted for about a third of Glu’s revenue. The recent partnership with Perry comes on the heels of her performance at the Super Bowl, which Glu CEO Niccolo de Masi argues turned her into “the most recognized musician in America.” He went on to say in a statement that Perry “is a cultural icon and we expect to translate key elements of her success into an innovative, highly entertaining mobile experience.” Translated to English, that means the company will slap her name and face onto a game with basic functionality, and hordes of people will play it to stave off boredom and loneliness. Gaming offers celebs a lucrative new segment to sell out to (well, maybe not that new) and allows developers such as Glu to make their products stand out in a crowded market. So when does Left Shark get its own game?

▼ Typo

In a BlackBerry jam

Typo keyboard add on for iPhone

It takes a certain kind of person to make it in the smartphone business, but Ryan Seacrest didn’t get this far in life on good looks alone. The chipper animatronic TV personality is an investor in Typo Products, a U.S. firm that makes a physical keyboard to attach to iPhones. The company has been in a legal tiff with BlackBerry, and this week a court ordered Typo to pay US$860,000 in fines to the struggling smartphone maker for violating an injunction. It all started last year when BlackBerry sued Seacrest’s firm for copying its keyboard design and convinced a court to bar Typo from selling its product. Typo later released another keyboard to avoid further legal complications. But BlackBerry alleged Typo continued to sell the original version—18,737 of them, in fact—even after the injunction came down. The court agreed. “Typo’s not so clever attempts to evade the Court’s preliminary injunction is quite certain,” wrote the judge, in what could be the closest thing to a legal opinion on Ryan Seacrest’s intelligence as we’re likely to get.