Kim Kardashian Mobile Game is a Big Hit for San Francisco Game Maker

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press
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Kim Kardashian has been topping the reality TV ratings for years. Now she's topping the virtual reality world as well.

Since launching three weeks ago, her mobile video game "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" has risen to the top of Apple's Mobile App Store.

Created by San Francisco-based Glu Mobile, the game allows fans to customize a character who, with Kim's advice, aims to become the next reality star.

"Getting her 20, 30 million Instagram, Twitter and Facebook followers to be able to effectively interact with her world whenever they want as opposed to just watch her show is something that obviously has had a tremendous appeal," said Glu Mobile CEO Niccolo De Masi. "People feel they can participate in Kim's world whenever they want. Not only are they staying in the game and returning to the game, they're actually paying and they're looking at ads in the game that are relevant to her brand."

In one scene Kardashian, who lends her actual voice to the game, tells players that in order to get more fans, they should try dating someone famous.

Some critics have slammed the game for encouraging girls and young women, the game's target audience, to idolize shallow behavior as they shop, party and pose for the paparazzi.

But fans love the game, with more than 40,000 reviewers giving it a rare perfect five-star rating in the Apple App Store.

"Kim's game is possibly on track to be our biggest game of the year, might be our biggest game ever depending on how long it lasts," said De Masi. "I set out 12, 18 months ago actually to begin starting a relationship with her agents as well as her management company. It was quite a long process of working through what the opportunity could be as well as why Glu would be a good fit for it."

There's no denying the game's financial success. Estimated earnings are expected to approach $200 million (USD).

Glu Mobile's stock is up about 70 percent this month thanks in part to the success of the Kardashian game on Apple and Android tablets.

"Our stock prices are currently at the highest it's been in my entire tenure," said De Masi. "We closed today at $6.49. We're up 65-70 percent as a stock since Kim's game launched."

Glu says it will expand the game to take players into more of Kim's favorite locations like Paris and Mexico, and may even add a Kanye West character to the game in the future.

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