How Kim Kardashian conquered mobile gaming with copy-paste

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Television personality Kim Kardashian arrives at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles

Right now, one of the top games in the iOS App Store is Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. This game came out of nowhere and suddenly became a smash hit, despite, one critic comments, “..having about as much depth as its namesake.”

Personal jibes aside, though, the game is a runaway for sure. It combines a smart mix of thoughtful graphics, name-recognition, and celebrity tie-ins beyond Mrs. West herself. It also seems to draw in many more people than just fans of the reality TV star.

And it does all of that without being based on anything new or exciting in terms of development and programming. It’s almost literally, the game’s creator says, a cut-paste job from another popular game.

According to Glu Canada’s Christopher Locke, who developed the game, most of the game’s platform was already there thanks to the Blammo Custom Framework used in games like Stardom: The A-List and Stardom: Hollywood. Why change things if what you’re doing already works? Right?

In an interview with Gamasutra, Locke says it bluntly: “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!”
In other words: they already had a working product that fit this game’s premise perfectly. All they needed were new graphics and some added storylines. Perfect!
This, folks, is how you make something great keep paying off. It’s a strategy as old as gaming itself.
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