staff worked on the game over the course of a six-month development cycle -- The rest of the studio was busy maintaining other live portfolio products (including Knights of Puzzelot, Zombies Ate My Friends, and Stardom: Hollywood.) The game was developed using the Blammo Custom Framework, which is the product of four consecutive games: Stardom: The A-List, Zombies Ate My Friends, Stardom: Hollywood and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. It's a flexible, data-driven framework specifically tailored to these types of experiences. All art and animation were created using Photoshop and Flash, and then exported using custom tools. Where do you draw inspiration for designing the mechanics of a game like this? Kim Kardashian: Hollywood was built on an existing Glu game, Stardom: Hollywood. The Stardom series had already proven successful and we believed that could be amplified through a partnership with Mrs. Kardashian West. It looks like we were right -- her brand is a perfect fit with the game’s premise, and fans love it. The game has a 5-star review average on the App Store, which is something you don’t typically see with top-grossing games. I’m especially proud that the “rubberneckers” (those who downloaded the game for ironic reasons) are getting sucked into the experience and rating it highly! How do those "rubberneckers" factor into Glu Canada's development process? The truth is that they didn't factor into the development process at all. We had iterated on this product twice before so we knew that it would retain and monetize well. It's the power of Mrs. Kardashian West's reach that propelled the Stardom series from Top 50 to Top 5 grossing, but the game itself is a genuinely unique take on the "rise to fame" fantasy prevalent in many forms of entertainment. I don't know that it can work for other developers, but for us it went: 1) be different conceptually, 2) iterate until you know it's good and 3) find a brand that adds value beyond just name recognition. Tell me a bit about how you balanced the monetization systems. Fortunately the economy was very well balanced after much iteration on the Stardom product. We optimized the monetization system for Kim Kardashian: Hollywood through the beta process, once we understood how users were responding to the content. So, is the tone of the game self-aware? For example, it's sometimes hard for us to tell if the written bits are intended to be sincere or humorous -- the dialogue often seems a bit over-the-top. The dialogue is intended to be entertaining, culturally relevant and occasionally sarcastic. The game can get a little snarky at times, which we’ve found players really enjoy.
"I’m especially proud that the 'rubberneckers' (those who downloaded the game for ironic reasons) are getting sucked into the experience."
4 MIN READ
Q&A: Keeping up with hit mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood
Kim Kardashian has conquered everything from cable TV to bottled water with some stupendous branding tactics. Now, the branding maven can add the iOS App Store to her list of conquests.