Condé Nast Releases ‘Fashion Hazard’ iOS Game

Arcade-style app lets users practice runway skills

Condé Nast might be best known for its glossy mags, but did you know that the publisher also has a digital media incubator?

Since its inception in 2011, Condé’s Interactive Product Group (iPG) has developed Idea Flight, a business productivity app that allows users to share documents and presentations across iPads, and Santa’s Hideout, a Web app that lets parents track their kids’ holiday wish lists. Now, iPG is shifting gears once again with the release of its first game for the iPad and iPhone, Fashion Hazard.

Fashion Hazard, which Adweek first previewed at this year’s E3 gaming convention, is an arcade-style game that has players guide their model avatar, Kansas-bred "Ellie," down a 3-D runway rife with coins and mini-challenges. She’ll also have to duck obstacles like pushy fellow models, hissing snakes (a not-so-subtle metaphor for fashion industry types) and the occasional flying can of red paint (PETA member not included).

Juliana Stock, senior director of business and product development at iPG, came up with the idea for Fashion Hazard through her kids’ interest in the “endless runner” gaming genre (think Temple Run).

“My daughter was looking for a girly version of that game, but there really weren’t any,” said Stock. “It sparked this inspiration that we should look into creating a more action, arcade-based game that would appeal to a feminine aesthetic.” According to Stock, the game was a hit with the girls who were brought in to test it. “We’ve had some loud mornings on our floor,” she said.

To promote Fashion Hazard, iPG teamed with Frenzoo, developer of the Me Girl app series, to create crossover storylines introducing Fashion Hazard to Style Me Girl’s million-plus users. For example, Style Me Girl players will be asked to dress their avatars for Fashion Hazard-themed activities, like a runway show. In return, Fashion Hazard gamers will be given access to special Style Me Girl wallpapers. There will also be cross-marketing on relevant Condé websites, said Stock.

The game, which costs 99 cents, makes its debut in the iTunes App Store tonight (Aug. 15). And you might end up seeing some of its features make its way into other Condé apps. According to a Condé rep, everything in Fashion Hazard was developed in-house, so iPG “can deconstruct the game into aspects that could be useful for another app, which lets the brands focus on the creative rather than product development.”

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