The Kardashians: If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
There are two people in this world: those that keep up with the Kardashians and those who don’t admit it. The story of Kim Kardashian is a familiar one riddled with celebrities until she became one herself. With the E! reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, she successfully broke into the industry as a TV personality, model and entrepreneur. Everyone has their two cents about the Kardashians. Now people are using the free app- and at times real money- to live like her virtually. However, gamers will have a hard time catching up with Kim- TMZ reported that Kim K is making an estimated $45 million, receiving 45% of the apps total earnings. The developers at GLU Mobile believe that it will be their most successful app this year.
The Kim Kardashian: Hollywood app was launched June 25 in the App store and Google Play store. Players create a customized player by choosing their facial features, wardrobe, hairstyle and makeup. Then players book photoshoots, flirt at clubs and network to climb the social ladder. Characters begin as a nobody- but with a little help from virtual Kim they can build rapport.
Social media promotion, along with the app’s concept and design, has made avoiding Kardashian news even more difficult. The app’s success can be largely attributed to social media and online coverage. First of all, the Kardashians are posting about the app- including the younger Jenner sisters- each with a large following. Kim’s animated self is even her profile picture for her Instagram account with more than 17 million followers.
Then, there was the EPA incident, in which an app update was accidentally tweeted from the Environmental Protection Agency’s official Twitter account. Resulting in almost 3,000 retweets, the tweet brought a lot of buzz from other media sites- ranging from blogs to news outlets like USA Today.
There are also popular comedy accounts tweeting about the app. It is uncertain if there are business arrangements at hand, but even seeing friends post about the game is beneficial for the app. The attention on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and media websites peak curiosity about the celebrity life app.
The game is similar to a re-vamped SIMS- by taking on a virtual identity and completing tasks to earn money, gain energy and complete challenges. The app is hitting the same target audience that grew up with the game as children- but now there is a modern, plot-specific twist. By capitalizing on the popular wish to be rich and famous, the app is an escape for players.
Like most free apps, advertisements pop up. Players can simply exit without leaving the app. However, to truly excel in the game, players can also use real money which also reduces advertisements. Players can either pay to boost the character’s energy or wait an hour to continue the game. To buy a flashier wardrobe also requires money. If players get attached the the game, the money in the user’s wallet can start to look very un-Kardashian. The game is easy to use and players secure achievements quickly, lending itself to a mindless but addictive design.
The Kim Kardashian Hollywood app is showcasing a strong online presence, popular concept, and playful design. Just a few days ago, the game was featured on the iTunes app store with compatibility to play on Mac desktops and Macbooks. The app was once ranked #2, but has been falling since the release.
While your virtual character may be succeeding, it’s nothing in comparison to Kim and GLU Mobile. Forbes estimated that she earned $28 million last year. Therefore this app may be one of her better career moves. Will more celebrity related apps follow? Will the app need to stay relevant online to keep users? Or, will the app’s addictive quality build a loyal fanbase. Comment and let us know!