Is there anything Kim Kardashian can’t sell? The Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game is now #1 in the App Store with a 5-star rating and more than 140,000 reviews. It’s slated to gross an estimated $200 million in annual revenue and the stock price for the company that created it, Glu Mobile, has nearly doubled in the last month!
I’d been hearing about this game for a couple weeks. People were apparently spending real money on virtual dollars to buy fashion accessories and go on pretend dates. So I finally decided to download the thing for operation “Shut Up, You Can’t Take My Money.”
The object was simple: Work my way up the celebrity ranks without spending a dime. This is the “E True Hollywood Story” of how I made it off the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood D-List.
The beginning of my story is pretty typical for most players. I was a poor shop clerk named Riley whom no one had ever heard of. I wasn’t on any list at all. Even sleazy street photographers shoved me out of the way to get their celeb shot.
A whole week into the game and I was still stuck on the E-List… That is, I spent an entire week checking in obsessively to a virtual game to validate my virtual stardom in this pretend Kardashian Hollywood world.
Early on, I had a few fans on what appeared to be something like Twitter and some people occasionally recognized me on the street.
Then one day Kim showed up to my store in downtown L.A., asking to be let in after hours and for me to hook her up with a free dress. I obliged, of course. We became “friends” and my star was on the rise.
Soon after, I was asked if I wanted to hook up my social profiles in order to earn more stars and energy for free. Of course I did!
What the game neglected to tell me is that it would tweet out to all my followers in real life that I, a grown woman, was playing Kim Kardashian Hollywood.
Sidenote: I’m not the only one who’s had this happen. The EPA — as in the Environmental Protection Agency — accidentally let out a tweet about its own Kardashian obsession this past week:
Whoops! Someone managing the account was clearly playing this game. The now-deleted tweet was followed with this official apology:
How To Get Famous: Kardashian Style
Kim eventually hooked me up with my first modeling gig and suggested I “go out on dates, get famous” to help my career.
My first date was with fast food restaurant manager, Ryan Kennedy.
He hated my outfit and broke up with me.
Not sure what else to do, I took the modeling gig Kim suggested. Sure it was weird to do odd jobs while the photographer threw money on the floor, but who was I to complain? I was on my way to becoming a celebrity, right?
Then it happened. I had finally done enough gigs, checked in obsessively, met the right people, and had enough good dates with the rich and famous to move up to the D-List!
You’ll notice I had to drastically change my look throughout the game. I got a nose job and changed my hair color. I got points for buying more clothes and accessories.
The more gigs I did, the more money I made, and the more I “Kustomized” my look, the more I fulfilled achievements in the game. Kim also hooked me up with an agent and I was encouraged to go to social gigs where I got paid to do things like mingle and have drinks.
I soon went out with even more guys and showed up to more networking gigs. I dated an architect, an American entrepreneur, another model. Some of the guys I dated were jerks but the more famous the dude, the better my chances were of rising up the list.
And Here Is How The Money Is Made
The downside is that I ran out of energy pretty frequently on these gigs. The game gives you little lightning bolts to indicate how much energy you have, and you use them up completing tasks for each new gig you take on.
This is how the game turns a profit: You need the energy to keep completing tasks and get a good rating on your gigs. However, if you run out of those little bolts of energy you either have to wait for more, which means you don’t do as well on the gig, or you can buy them using “KStars.” These “KStars” can be earned each time you level up (which can take quite a while), or you can purchase them in the App Store for real money.
That was not part of the plan so I tried to get smart about the game. Were there hacks? Online tips? What else could I find?
I’d already hooked up my Twitter account so that was out. I also had the option of watching video ads for other games to earn more, but the game only lets you do that a couple times. You get one “K Star” and $10 each time you do that.
Other hacks I found online included going to the trouble of setting your phone clock forward so the game would think it’s time to give you more energy. Another one suggested clicking on random objects for cash and energy. That last process proved to be pretty slow. Each object only gave out maybe a dollar or the occasional bolt of energy if I was lucky.
You can also sign up for promotions and offers, but to me it’s the same as buying virtual currency — you’re just agreeing to certain offers. Either way, you gotta pay if you want to get ahead.
That became painfully apparent soon enough.
Giving Up And Giving In
There I was on a date with the Dirk Diamonds, a star on the B-List, and clearly someone a couple of rungs above me. I was running out of both energy and money to pay for the expensive wine Dirk wanted… and none of the producers or actors in my network seemed to be offering anything up. My agent wouldn’t even call me back. What was a girl on the D-List to do?
Sadly, my plan to raise my status without spending any money had to be scrapped in order to buy “K Stars” before I lost Dirk forever. $59.99 bought 725 virtual “K Stars,” which was enough money and energy to save my date.
With that virtual currency, I was also able to buy three apartments, a dog, a trip to Punta Mita, my own car (no more D-List bus rides around town for this girl), and to land a couple more dates. Kim even threw me a pretty sweet birthday party at the club.
The best part of all, however, was just how quickly I rose from the D-List to C-List status.
With my upgraded status, my agent called me with better gigs, I got a much more tech-savvy photographer (one that actually uses digital prints and a laptop), and even my dates complimented my outfits more.
Touched By Kim
The game seems to be hitting a popularity threshold lately. It stalled on me briefly a few times in the past couple of days, and a ton of people lost it on Twitter when the game crashed over the weekend.
Do you know how embarrassing it is to admit to yourself that you actually want this game to load so you can just play already? That you actually like escaping to this virtual reality to shop and get paid just for showing up at a club?
Glu Mobile gave out extra “K Stars” and money to those affected in the crash five days ago, it was the virtual Kim Kardashian who got all the credit.
According to TMZ, Kim holds a 45 percent stake in the game and stands to make about $85 million from it. Kardashian made about $28 million last year in all her other endeavors.
I’m still currently stuck on the C-List with about $559 in virtual currency. But I do have a gig coming up for a “Smart Ad” campaign with a famous photographer… and another date with both Dirk and Charles soon. Virtual Kim tells me my latest ad campaign is trending, too.
B-List here I come.