Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Kim Kardashian wasn't certain that she wanted to be a cartoon game figure when San Francisco's Glu Mobile approached her about a collaboration, but she seems to have taken to the roll swimmingly. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood has brought in more than $74 million due in no small part to the fact that it regularly adapts to reflect Kim's life.
In the beginning, that blur between game and reality was coincidental. Kim admits to Adweek, "I actually didn't know the date of the launch, but I happened to be going to Mexico on the same day. Once I started posting pictures through Instagram that I was in Mexico, everyone was playing along [and saying], "I just updated my game, and I'm in Mexico with you." They would literally get a bikini like the one I had Instagrammed in a photo."
(Hooray for Bay Area app synergy, right?)
The reality mogul continues, "We realized that it worked so well because we are in such good communication—myself and the Glu team—to make updates in real time. I try to tell them as far in advance of when I know I have a trip planned, and we try to get as many lifelike things that I'm actually doing to really happen in the game so you can play along with my real life."
According to the San Francisco Business Times, there are 30 dedicated staffers in the city who work exclusively on the blockbuster game. And Kim tells Adweek that she talks with the developers daily via email and chat. "If I have an idea, I send it to them. I [also] go down to [their home base] San Francisco every other month and meet with the whole team," she explains.
Now that Kim has outlined the blueprint for gaming success, let's see if Katy Perry, her recently-signed Glu Mobile peer, can find the same level of success.