An app based around the life and work of a famous reality star? It sounds as if it just shouldn’t work but in fact, Kim Kardashian Hollywood has been racking up the fans and praise like nobody’s business. The mobile game tasks the player with creating a new Hollywood star, working and dating their way through the ranks until they reach A List celebrity status. The game, by Glu Games, is a departure for the studio. In the past, they’ve specialised in hyper masculine games such as Big Time Gangsta and Deer Hunter Challenge, but Hollywood has made the studio a household name.
The centres around the player’s character, who is a lowly retail worker until they’re spotted by Kim Kardashian and she offers to set the player up with an agent. She acts as a sort fairy godmother, offering up opportunities to increase your standing in Hollywood by attending parties, posing for photoshoots, or dating eligible bachelors or bachelorettes. For such a simple concept, the game has been incredibly well received.
The game has garnered mostly positive response, including bags of five star reviews on the Apple App Store. Players have said it’s ‘amazing’ and ‘addicting’. The stock of Glu Games has gone up by 42% on the stock market, where mobile gaming has traditionally struggled to find success.
In fact, the ‘addicting’ comment shows up over and over again. This writer says the game was so good, they had to stop playing it, and piles upon piles of words have been written about how people can’t stop playing, and their frustration when their ‘energy’, the game’s currency, doesn’t regenerate fast enough.
The game has certainly created mobile gaming fans from a demographic where traditionally, there may not be many at all. It’s also created its fair share of controversy. A US government twitter account accidentally sent out an automatically generated tweet about the game, much to the amusement of its followers. When the game went down following technical problems, many players began tweeting pleas for the game to be fixed to Kim Kardashian herself, rather than Glu Games. Also, there was brief outrage when a Buzzfeed writer found a racial slur in the game, which turned out to be the result of a downloadable ‘hack’ being used for the game, and so wasn’t the work of the developers themselves.
For a game that was initially passed off by many as a throw away novelty, it certainly has become a runaway hit. The game is currently making up to $700,000 a day, with $1.6 million being made in its first five days of release. Whether the game can keep this up though, is another matter entirely. There has been talk of adding other characters to the game, including Kim’s sisters Kourtney and Khloe, to keep players interested. Otherwise, time will only tell if Kim’s star can keep this game popular.