Released only a few months ago, the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood app is already a top money maker and has achieved a top-five ranking in the iPhone app store, as well as a top 10 ranking in the GooglePlay store. It is on track to take in over $200 million by next summer!
Console and computer games often find inspiration in Hollywood TV shows and movies, but Kardashian’s game is a new type of game that focuses on the life of a celebrity rather than fictional stories.
The success of the app has called to attention the unparalleled opportunity now available to celebrities who are not making as much from DVD sales any longer and wish to supplement their income. Estimates have indicated that the total American spending on video games is set to eclipse that of the dying movie industry within the next few years, and entertainment companies are beginning to develop what they call “transmedia”, movie/game collaborations.
Modern technology has made video gaming more accessible than ever as gamers no longer have to negotiate bulky consoles, controllers, or expensive upfront costs in order to enjoy new games. The success of the Hollywood app has also been attributed to the appeal it has for many women who have previously been uninterested in video games. Kim’s game has attracted many of these women by appealing to their interests and being an easy game to learn. It also has the added advantage of having transformed many of her social media followers into first-time gamers!
Modern Video Gaming
If there is anything we can learn from the success of this game, it’s that the definition of video gaming must continue to expand to include an ever wider selection of “casual” games.
In Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, players are tasked with the goal of climbing to the top of the Hollywood social ladder to achieve fame. Based on the life of Kim Kardashian-West, the game involves players leading their characters through a variety of activities including shopping, dating, and photo shoots. Players are given the option to network or flirt with strangers they meet and must balance their expenses against the income they earn from completing certain tasks.
Because the game is free-to-play, there is no barrier to entry for those who are just interested in getting their toes wet. But in-app purchases quickly and easily allow them to buy bonuses including clothing, energy bursts, and other in-app perks. Kim regularly makes appearances in the game and sequels are expected featuring the rest of the clan.