In 2013, Glu Mobile's CEO Niccolo de Masi wanted to rebrand one of his company's games, then called Stardom: Hollywood. He needed a major Hollywood name who could get people excited about the app's simple premise of players working to become A-list celebrities by starring in photo shoots and appearing at high-profile events.
Enter Kim Kardashian West. Since the revived game launched last year on June 22, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood netted $74.3 million in 2014, with 80 percent to 85 percent coming from players who buy virtual power-ups to speed through the game.
According to de Masi, the game's namesake approves all images and narratives, which are pushed out as updates every two weeks or so by a group of 30 Glu employees.
The game mimics the star's life as much as possible. For example, the app added scenes in London and Australia based on her travels. "I'd say that almost everything in this has a parallel with her life," says de Masi. "Whether it's exactly contemporaneous or whether it's something that's occurred already, it rhymes with reality."
De Masi would like the game to become the go-to venue for Kim to connect with her fan base. "My goal is very much how do you turn the game into a next-generation platform for her to be able to communicate to her fans in a way where she builds brand equity for herself," he says.
Glu also hopes lightning will strike twice, recently signing a five-year deal with Katy Perry to build a mobile game set to launch later this year.
Photo: Juco for Adweek