When Kim Kardashian released her mobile game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, in June, people went nuts for the wildly addictive game.
The choose-your-own-adventure-style game — which allows users to go on photo shoots, dates, and rub elbows with Hollywood elite in order to climb the ranks and become an A-list celebrity — has 28 million downloads and 11 billion minutes of play since it launched last summer. It is also on track to rake in over $US200 million.
Something that really worked in the game that was kind of an accident are the updates. [For example], your character can go on vacation to Mexico, and that’s one of the places that I go all the time.
I actually didn’t know the date of the launch, but I happened to be going to Mexico on the same day. Once I started posting pictures through Instagram that I was in Mexico, everyone was playing along [and saying], “I just updated my game, and I’m in Mexico with you.” They would literally get a bikini like the one I had Instagrammed in a photo.
But, says Kardashian, that wasn’t part of the original plan.
People thought we were doing that on purpose and that it was planned, and it wasn’t. We realised that it worked so well because we are in such good communication — myself and the Glu team — to make updates in real time. I try to tell them as far in advance of when I know I have a trip planned, and we try to get as many lifelike things that I’m actually doing to really happen in the game so you can play along with my real life.
Despite what many may believe, Kardashian is very involved with every aspect of the app, especially making sure it relates to her real life.
We try to mirror it as much as possible. The look of the game was really important to me. I must have pulled thousands of references of all the different ways that characters should have their hair, the outfits and the shoes. One time there was a strap wrong on one of the character’s shoes — her feet weren’t matching. I had to change the programming to fix that. It was important to me that everything is right.
With the quick life cycles of games, Kardashian already has a plan in place to make sure hers stays relevant.
I think that adding my family members [as characters] and a bunch of cameos will get people excited. I started with adding my mum and now my sisters [last year]. Even my pets that I’ve had either now or in the past are in it. I want to make it as lifelike as possible.
“[The developers and I] talk daily,” Kardashian tells Adweek of her commitment to the app. “We have these open emails and chats. If I have an idea, I send it to them. I [also] go down to [their home base] San Francisco every other month and meet with the whole team.”
Still, she says, “I don’t know if I expected it to do this well.”
“I’m really thankful that it has because I’ve put a lot of hard work into it and spent a lot of time on it,” adds Kardashian. “It’s how I think of my show — someone can always relate. People always want to get their mind off of things and have something fun to do because their lives are so hectic. It’s a fun game that you can really get addicted to and just lose yourself in for a couple of hours.”
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