Kim Kardashian’s iPhone app, Kim Kardashian Hollywood, has recently been updated to give players the option of becoming celebrity parents, and users of the popular game could not be more excited about the app’s new baby boom. Glu Games, which develops and publishes multiple free-to-play mobile games, released the celebrity-endorsed game in the summer of 2014 and have since enjoyed vast success with the app, including appearances on lists of the best iPhone apps and the inclusion of their Kardashian avatar on Time magazine’s ‘Most Influential Fictional Character’ list.
Glu Games found some success with the game’s predecessor, Stardom Hollywood. With fun and enticing graphics and addictive playability, Stardom Hollywood found it easy to retain followers as well as make a profit from them. In an ingenious move by Glu company CEO Niccolo de Masi, the app was proposed for a celebrity endorsement and re-branding, and Kardashian proved to be a fruitful choice. “We identified Kim Kardashian West as possibly the best brand fit in the world,” de Masi said, “so we approached her.” The app developer insists the pregnant mother of one, Kardashian, has been involved heavily in the development of the game.
The introduction of a baby boom into the Kim Kardashian Hollywood iPhone game has been met with equal amounts of enthusiasm and trepidation. Regular players of the game, which is also available on Android, are already able to simulate a glamorous, glitzy celebrity lifestyle in the app by creating and styling their own avatar and choosing its mega-bucks career path. As model, movie star or even fashion designer, users can dazzle on the red carpet, date or dump celebrity partners at A-list parties or shop until they drop at upscale fashion boutiques. As if this was not enough to fill their global superstar days, now fans of the social mobile game can put aside their fame and fortune to have extra-cute, mini-starlet babies.
The babies however, as in real life, do not come cheap. Players are somewhat disgruntled by the fact that they are having to use up their elusive and expensive ‘K cash’ to procure themselves an infant. Of course, they could always do it the natural way. By attending the Love and Hope Adoption Center (the virtual one in the game, not the real-life one with offices in Florida and Pennsylvania), users can choose whether to have a child with a partner, thus requiring a strong relationship with another avatar, or they can choose to adopt. Even in the world of gaming, cultivating a successful relationship is hard work, so many are choosing to adopt their offspring – at a cost.
Despite being a free game, Glu has to make some money. As is typical of free mobile and browser games, the game play in Kim Kardashian Hollywood can be a time-consuming if players are not prepared to put their hands in their pockets and pay real money for the game’s alternative K Cash. K Cash gives users an advantage over other players by allowing them to purchase exclusive items or, since the most recent update, skip the hassle of wining and dining a potential mate and instead pay to adopt a baby from the Love and Hope Adoption Center. Worryingly, the center has absolutely no screening process for checking the suitability of any future fictional parents.
While fans of the reality television star frantically try to get in on the iPhone app’s baby boom bonanza, the real Kardashian has been struggling this week with morning sickness associated with her second pregnancy. Here is hoping that will not be a feature Kardashian wants to talk about in the next Glu Games development meeting.
By Alison Klippenstein
Time: The 15 Most Influential Fictional Characters of 2014
Glu.com: Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Company News
Gamezebo: Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Update Lets You Get Frisky, Have Babies
Photo Courtesy of Esther Vargas’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
In Line Photo Courtesy of Eva Rinaldi’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License