A 45-year-old California man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to ripping off $4.8 million from his employer. Notably, the man admitted to spending $1 million of that bonanza on Game of War.
The mobile-phone game is developed by Machine Zone and heavily advertised by model Kate Upton. It’s one of the top-grossing mobile games in the world, according to Adweek. And now we know why, at least in part.
Kevin Lee Co admitted in Sacramento federal court that,from May 2008 to March 2015, he embezzled nearly $5 million from his controller job at a heavy-equipment company called Holt California. He admitted in his guilty plea (PDF) to spending “approximately $1 million” on Game of War. He also admitted to getting plastic surgery and buying season tickets to the San Francisco 49ers and the Sacramento Kings. The record also showed Co bought “luxury cars” and a golf club membership.
We’ve read reports about players spending thousands of dollars on Game of War, which bills itself as “the world’s largest multiplayer strategy game.” It’s raking in more than $1 million daily, but we’ve never seen a personal tab this high to date.
In the game, players build cities and soldiers and then attack others, and the average player spends about $550 to keep moving to higher levels of the game, reports Venture Beat, making it one of the world’s most profitable gaming apps, bringing in $1million per day, according to Cracked.
‘It’s like gambling, but with no possibility of winning,’ a regular player told the outlet.
To spend $1million on the game is highly unusual, and it’s not clear how long it took Co to drop that much or if it helped with his game.