XXL was the first to report that Lil Wayne recently announced his upcoming mobile game, “Sqvad Up,” and in doing so, bucked a perhaps sexist trend that has been pervasive in the mobile gaming industry in the past.
— Mr_Mohamed_Ali (@CC_RIDER_Snipe) February 19, 2016
Lil Wayne uploaded a cryptic Instagram post last night to tell the world that “Sqvad Up,” a mobile game Lil Wayne is currently producing, is coming soon to both Apple and Android.
The post consists only of the text “Komin Soon” and a short video – if it can be called that – which is basically a few seconds of the game’s logo on a constant purple background. The logo appears to be drawn in a style mimicking street graffiti.
An illustration of Lil Wayne wearing a plain white t-shirt and shades while holding a skateboard behind his head is featured in the lower left of the frame, and several logos (presumably the game’s sponsors/developers) appear at the bottom.
In the voiceover accompanying the “video,” one can hear what sounds like some kind of pipe being lit and a sharp inhale before Lil Wayne’s voice comes in.
“Welcome to Hollygrove. My town,” Lil Wayne says in his signature sneering lilt before a hip-hop beat starts up.
“Sqvad up, coming soon.”
As Hot New Hip Hop notes, the trailer does not let Lil Wayne fans know much at all about the game other than the fact that it will more than likely have something to do with skateboarding, which is indeed one of Lil Wayne’s passions. It also looks like “Sqvad Up” will take place in a housing development far more modest than the mansions and private jets found in most celebrity-based mobile games.
Speaking of celebrity-based mobile games, it is interesting to note that Lil Wayne is acting as a bit of a pioneer in the industry.
Not that mobile games that revolve around the life of a celebrity of Lil Wayne’s status are rare; in fact, they have become very popular in recent years because of how incredibly lucrative they can be.
Kim Kardashian was the first to stumble upon the veritable goldmine applications present when she released Kim Kardashian: Hollywood back in mid-2014. Within its first five months on the Apple app store, the “free” game had pulled in $100 million thanks to in-game microtransactions, and the numbers only increased from there.
— Angel G. (@Angel_Fatale) June 1, 2016
Since then, several other major celebrities, such as Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Nicki Minaj have also made their own mobile games. Pocket Gamer reports that successful celebrity mobile games can pull in between 10 and 15 million dollars each month, so the trend is very understandable.
You may notice, though, that all of the aforementioned celebrities are female. For whatever reason, mobile game developers have focused much more heavily on females when it comes to subjects of celebrity-focused games they develop.
Of course, it is not an entirely female trend — take rapper Tyga’s Kingin’ World Tour as an example — but the female-based apps have been much more successful.
— Demi Lovato Promo (@DemiPromo) August 12, 2015
Even the CEO of Glu Mobile, the developer behind Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and most of the other celebrity mobile games, admits the current one-dimensional nature of the big money-makers.
“The celebrity platform at the moment is just one genre, as a 2D role-playing game. But in the long term, we’ll expand that engine and that type of genre and expand the celebrities across multiple engines and multiple genres.”
It looks like Lil Wayne may have picked up some of the slack before Glu Mobile could get around to it, however.
Males make up a much larger portion of the gamer demographic than females, and they are more likely to play a mobile game focused around hip-hop icon Lil Wayne, generally perceived as more masculine, than fashion queen Kim Kardashian. Because of that, who knows how big of a splash Lil Wayne’s “Sqvad Up” will make once it is released?
What do you think? Will Lil Wayne’s take on mobile gaming be a flop or a cash cow? Make yourself heard in the comments section!
[Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images for Coachella]