Kim Kardashian Hollywood

BCM215

At the beginning of the semester and reading BCM215’s name- Game Media Industries, I already imagined having to study gaming and gamers, something I had never thought of myself as. Although the entire semester looked over the gaming industry and its different areas, I surprisingly enjoyed the weekly topics and the freedom I had with my DA. I decided after identifying that I’ve always been interested in celebrities and their reasons for their partnerships, that researching and analysing the involvement and the celebrity’s reasons for developing mobile games would allow me to answer the questions I had always had.

I decided to take my approach and analyse celebrity mobile games through a financial and marketing lens. As a commerce student as well as being a communications and media student, I find combining the two areas of my studies interesting. I wanted to see if there was a financial advantage for more than just the celebrity. Identifying if the celebrity is simply placing their name on the game for the financial benefit or if the development of the game is a venture they truly care about was something I knew I wanted to discover.

Initially, my goal was to play and analyse multiple mobile games which I had selected after researching which celebrities had developed games. After selecting the games I wanted to trial, I began my DA, but shortly after my pitch, I knew I needed to change my process because my plan was not achievable so I made the decision to research one game and one celebrity, more specifically, Kim Kardashian Hollywood (KKH) game. The concept of a celebrity can be seen as a commodity or as a commercial product that can be manufactured and traded by promotions and publicities in media industries (Marshall, 1997, 2014). A celebrity can also be seen as having or being a persona. Kim Kardashian has, like all other celebrities, her everyday persona and her celebrity persona which is portrayed and transferred into her KKH game. In the game, her character is your mentor who assists you in developing yourself as a celebrity ‌(Soehendar & Widjayanti, 2020).

15 Problems Only Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Addicts Understand
Cosmopolitan, 2014

Through my research, I learnt that Kim Kardashian Hollywood was released in 2014 which looking back on that year makes me feel old since I’m 2 years into Uni and that was the year I started high school. 2014 was also the year and time the Kardashian name took off, the marriage to her now ex-husband Kanye West and in general social media grew tremendously. The game in its initial launch accrued more than 42 million downloads and $13.6 million from in-app sales in its first quarter (The Kimpact: How Celebrity Apps are changing mobile gaming 2016). The money the game made in its first quarter was equivalent to 24% of the game developers, Glu Games’ revenue. This specific mobile game changed the gaming industry. It was now females who wanted to create and play games when the industry was previously so heavily led by males. Gamers preferred changing outfits rather than slaying dragons and it clearly showed with the success of Kim Kardashian Hollywood.

Financially, Kim Kardashian Hollywood has had significantly large success based on the earning the game as achieved and has been a great business move on Glu Games’ behalf especially approaching a celebrity with such a high celebrity status like Kim Kardashian. To partner with and create a mobile game suitable for her largely female audience and followers, it’s safe to say that she understood the assignment. She understood her audience and followers, their wants and needs and her understanding of how influential she is from her use of social media, and of course, let’s not forget Kris Jenner, they knew this would be the correct move to make. It was also a wise decision that Glu Games used the same mechanics as one of their previously developed games, Stardom Hollywood to use as the base of KKH.

Using the mechanics of an already existing game and rebranding the game to suit the celebrity was a simple way to have Kim Kardashian Hollywood live on the app store allowing for the downloads and ultimately the in-app purchases that accompany the game. Before beginning to analyse KKH, I mentioned I was questioning if the game was on-brand with Kim Kardashian as her aesthetic in all her other business and brand ventures has been neutral, simple but also sophisticated and at an initial glance, KKH looks like the opposite of her aesthetic. 

Games aesthetics as I mentioned in my game aesthetics blog post, is a determining factor on if you continue to or stop playing a particular game. Game aesthetics refers to the sensory phenomena that the player encounters in the game (visual, aural, haptic, embodied). Game aesthetics also refers to those aspects of digital games that are shared with other art forms. Lastly, game aesthetics is an expression of the game experienced as pleasure, emotion, sociability, form-giving. (Niedenthal 2009). 

Similarly, branding is important. Self-branding is a form of marketing that a person will use to develop a public picture or persona that exhibits their values and reputation and is very popular with celebrities (Fita, 2013). Often they translate this public persona into their ventures such as Kim Kardashian portraying herself as your celebrity mentor in the KKH game. She has also translated this persona in the way she markets and promotes her game on her social media platforms.

Social media marketing (SMM) is very important for the success of any business. SMM works by brands, in this case, Kim Kardashian, although she is a person, has also become a brand, engaging with existing customers (her followers) or reaching new and potential customers or followers to promote new or existing products, culture or missions through sites such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (Hayes 2021). 

Kim Kardashian has used her platforms to engage with her followers and 7 years later still promotes her game concluding that although she may have created this game intending to make money, the game has evolved to be more than just a game. It’s become a passion project she can pass down to her kids and followers to enjoy. The success of this game has to be attributed to her celebrity status and hence the financial benefits the game developers accrued as well as her portion of the profit. You can’t have finance without proper marketing. 

References:

Fita, M 2013, What is Self Branding?, 36creative, 36creative, viewed 29 October 2021, <https://36creative.com/branding/1901/self-branding&gt;.

Hayes, A,2021, What Is Social Media Marketing?, Investopedia, viewed 29 October 2021, <https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-media-marketing-smm.asp>.

Marshall, PD 2014, Celebrity and Power : Fame in Contemporary Culture, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. Viewed 29 October 2021], < https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/uow/reader.action?docID=1762165>

‌Niedenthal, S 2009, What We Talk About When We Talk About Game Aesthetics, DIVA, DiGRA Online Library, viewed 24th September, 29th October 2021, <https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1408066&dswid=7801&gt;.

‌Soehendar, TP & Widjayanti, EP 2020, THE MANIFESTATION OF KIM KARDASHIAN’S AESTHETIC AND GLAMOUR LABORS IN KIM KARDASHIAN: HOLLYWOOD MOBILE GAME | E-Journal of Cultural Studies, Unud.ac.id, viewed 29 October 2021, <https://ojs.unud.ac.id/index.php/ecs/article/view/70497>, <file:///Users/olivialopez/Downloads/70497-373-197105-1-10-20210210.pdf>. 

The Kimpact: How Celebrity Apps are changing mobile gaming 2016, Mixpanel, viewed 29 October 2021, <https://mixpanel.com/blog/celebrity-apps-changing-mobile-gaming/&gt;.

Peer Review- Beta be Better

BCM215

Peer feedback is never easy for me. I always end up leaning towards providing good feedback and therefore I avoid providing any feedback that may come across in any way negative. I know how disheartening receiving feedback can be when you felt you had produced something you were proud of. I also struggle with peer commentary on topics that I have little knowledge about or that I know I don’t like. Although this is the case, I try to avoid bias by challenging myself with the blogs that I selected to comment and review.

Each of my peers and I have very different analytical frameworks and our overall DA’s are all unique from one another making the task of finding commonalities a little difficult. Finding the differences on the other hand was simple as they’re more obvious at face value.

Below are each of my comments from my peers. Overall they produced a well thought out beta video and accompanying blog post. Each of their DA’s and their analytical frameworks are really well thought out and seem perfect for the areas they’re analysing.

The commonalities between the three blog posts include

– publicly available content (online)

– An evidently large amount of research was conducted

– All of my peers showed passion and interest in their DA’s fields

– Not one individual game is being analysed in the way I am analysing one game

The differences of these DA’s are from their analytical frameworks and of course from each of the areas they are analysing in comparison to my own DA.

Zelia and Annesha are both looking at gamifying their journey’s whilst Daniel is reporting gaming news.

Zelia is looking at her DA through the lens of Octalysis. A process of gamifying with an 8 step process.

Annesha is also studying the gamifying process but is also studying her audience interaction with her content.

Daniel’s frame is modality, comparing and contrasting and also the psychology of game news reporting.

Each of these DA’s are extremely different from mine. Within my DAs journey, I have been studying an already gamified life experience of gaining fame and analysing the financial and marketing that was used to make this game one of the most downloaded mobile games.

Comparing my DA with my peers is a hard task to do because of how different our frameworks are. But in saying this, I have really enjoyed delving and learning about how my peers are approaching the same tasks as I. If we all had the same framework but on different fields, although they would have a level of difference, all the research would end up being too similar. These differences really allow us to showcase our personalities and our interests.

Celebrity Games Got a Whole Lot Beta

BCM215

My DA process has had a slow start but, week after week I have felt improvement within my research and the progress of my DA. With each weekly blog post, I have been able to further develop my research and ultimately my analytical frameworks.

Beginning my DA I had made the assumption that Kim Kardashian (KK) had developed a game with pop up ads and in-game purchases solely to make money and to enhance her rapid shot to fame she had been experiencing in 2014, but through my research I feel I judged this game and KK by the game’s cover too quickly. Through my game experience, my assumption has been proven true but what I’ve discovered from my research about this game and the mobile gaming industry has peaked my interest.

The mobile gaming industry is fairly new and there are hundreds of thousands of games available to download for mobile devices so how did a celebrity with no gaming experience or knowledge, get the opportunity to develop their own game?

Kim Kardashian Hollywood (KKH) is developed by Glu Mobile, who claims to be “The Leader in 3D Freemium Mobile Gaming” (Glu, 2020). Their purpose is to deliver fun mobile games and game experiences and I believe they have certainly hit the mark on with KKH. The CEO of glue, Niccolo de Masi approached KK in late 2013 with the aim to “reuse engines but could add popular appeal” (Tweedie 2014) and KK fit their ideas. So in 2014 KKH was released and did better than either party had expected.

My analytical framework examines the KKH game from a financial and marketing perspective. In the first year since the game’s initial launch, over $71.8 million was made from in-app purchases alone as the game is a freemium game, meaning it is a free to download game and generated over 40 million downloads. Financially, this game has made millions and continues to do so as there is no “end” to the game so although the aim of the game is to become an A list celebrity and gain followers, there is no limit to how many followers you can accumulate as continuous updates allow for players to continue to grow their following.

Looking at the game from a marketing perspective, it was simple but genius. With the rise of Instagram and Twitter, KK was able to not only announce but also continue to promote (and still does) her game from just her social media platforms. The game targets females “emphasising the importance of cultivating a unique individual style for dissemination across networked media (Soehendar & Widjayanti 2020). Using the power of social media and targeting her female followers made this game one of the top games in 2015!

Kim Kardashian, Twitter 2014
Kin Kardashian Instagram, 2021

As I continue to develop my research, I seem to enjoy the process more and more and cannot wait to continue my DA. From my research thus far, I feel as though this game has done everything right to make it as popular as it has become.

References

Company | Glu 2020, Glu, viewed 29 September 2021, <https://www.glu.com/company/&gt;.

Tweedie, S 2014, The Mastermind Behind Kim Kardashian’s Insanely-Popular App Explains How The Hit Game Was Created, Business Insider Australia, viewed 29 September 2021, <https://www.businessinsider.com.au/kim-kardashian-hollywood-game-history-2014-8&gt;.

Soehendar, P, T & Widjayanti, P, E, 2020, THE MANIFESTATION OF KIM KARDASHIAN’S AESTHETIC AND GLAMOUR LABORS IN KIM KARDASHIAN: HOLLYWOOD MOBILE GAME, undefined, viewed 29 September 2021, <https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/THE-MANIFESTATION-OF-KIM-KARDASHIAN%E2%80%99S-AESTHETIC-AND-Soehendar-Widjayanti/160fcfc628619f7f85c87aa4958a07ad458a9424&gt;.

Diving deep into my analytical framework

BCM215

For my DA I am studying games examining their role of marketing and the financial benefits a celebrity would be receiving from having created a game. My DA strictly examines celebrity games suitable for mobile devices, personally I am using my iPhone to play these games.

15 Problems Only Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Addicts Understand
Glu Games & Kim Kardashain 2014

Marketing is 1 of the 4 main business functions. A celebrity brand is crucial for their continued growth in the industry and in a digital age, many celebrities have turned to the mobile gaming industry to expand upon their brand. The marketing of a game will help sell itself if done correctly (Bouveng 2018, meaning social media and influencers can and have aided in selling the game to users. 62% of the mobile phone gamers are women in the US, understanding this statistic makes marketing Kim Kardashian Hollywood much simpler (Alegre, 2018) as mainly women follow her on her social media platforms who she can easily market her products to to generate downloads and eventually sales.

When thinking of marketing, often I think about the appearance and coherence of the advertisement and brand. Does it mesh well with one another? Does it evoke any of my senses? Does it make me want what’s been sold? In essence, the ad needs to be aesthetically appealing and more specifically should target your senses. A good game’s marketing will do this and will continue as you play the game because of its game aesthetics. Game aesthetics can make or break a game.

Finance is yet another 1 of the 4 main business functions. Okay so the celebrity has marketed their game and gained downloads, what’s next? Simple in-app purchases or the purchase of the mobile game itself. As it’s name suggests, in-app purchases refer to the selling and purchases found within a mobile application (Chen, 2020). These in app purchases can be pesky or extremely useful to you and let’s be real to the celebrity and game developer. Often, these in-app purchases provide you with exclusive access to temporary game features or permanent features of the game that can assist you with your game experience.

The easiest way to ensure a celebrity and their game developers are happy in the success rate of the game is from seeing the downloads but also seeing sales of premium game features. In-app purchases are by far the simplest way to monetise a game (Karnes, 2019). Many celebrity games follow the freemium model, a free to download game with in-app purchases. Although many gaming companies use this model it has proven that in the long run generates more sales than releasing a premium game, a game that must be paid for before its download.

With these areas in mind, I feel confident that my DA has a solid foundation of previous research I can use to frame my research into the gaming industry and more specifically understanding the importance of marketing and finance in celebrity mobile gaming.

References

Alegre, M 2018, ‘Council Post: Why Mobile Games Are More Important To Your Brand Than You Thought’, Forbes, 5 September, viewed 16 September 2021, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/09/05/why-mobile-games-are-more-important-to-your-brand-than-you-thought/?sh=6d37dea11522&gt;.

Bouveng, A 2018, Perhaps you are a marketer reading this, or a game developer that has embarked on a journey to build your f…, Linkedin.com, LinkedIn, viewed 16 September 2021, <https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/4-reasons-why-you-should-involve-marketing-your-game-anna-bouveng&gt;.

Chen, H 2020, Benefits of In-App Purchases Feature In Your Mobile Application, Syncoria Inc., viewed 16 September 2021, <https://www.syncoria.com/blog/benefits-of-in-app-purchases/&gt;.

Karnes, K 2019, What Does In-App Purchase Mean? | CleverTap, CleverTap, viewed 17 September 2021, <https://clevertap.com/blog/what-does-in-app-purchase-mean/&gt;.

Game Aesthetics

BCM215

Game aesthetics can make or break your game experience. If you don’t connect to the game from the moment you begin playing, you most likely delete the game or remove it from your device. This week I wanted to analyse one of my all-time favourite mobile games; Hay Day, to identify why I’m drawn to the game.

Game aesthetics refers to the sensory phenomena that the player encounters in the game (visual, aural, haptic, embodied). Game aesthetics also refers to those aspects of digital games that are shared with other art forms. Lastly, game aesthetics is an expression of the game experienced as pleasure, emotion, sociability, form-giving. (Niedenthal 2009). 

Hay Day is a freemium mobile game created by Supercell back in 2012. Its core concept is based on the idea of building your farm, joining groups to connect to other players and completing tasks to be able to grow your farm and unlock new features. 

The year the game was released is important to note as 2012 was a time where mobile gaming was just being introduced to mobile phone users. This time was when iPhones started to become the more popular smartphone option which led Hay Day developers to test run the game on the apple app store in Canada. Many games during 2012 were bright and bubbly to attract a variety of audiences. Social media was also on the rise at the time and the concept of making things pretty and “aesthetic” was important to attract and keep the attention of players interested in the game. The game’s characters have always stayed consistent with each having similar characteristics and expressions making the visual aesthetics pleasing to look at and its audio that matches makes the game that little bit more aesthetic.

The game has continued since its release to add new features and levels to keep fans intrigued by the game but with each new feature, the game has stuck to its core structure. Visually, Hay Day is bright, modern, and overall has a very cheerful feel to it which was the exact same vibe that when looking back at 2012 had. It’s easy to navigate through and its audio and background music matches its bright, modern, and cheerful vibe. From the moment I discovered the game back in 2013, I was hooked on just the visual graphics and its ease of growing your farm. The managerial backed game gives the player the freedom to build and design their own farms ensuring no farm is truly the same. The game does require internet access which was annoying when I played the game on my iPod touch, but now the game accessibility for me is super simple.

(Behind the Success of Hay Day — Deconstructor of Fun 2013)

I believe the game has been able to continue its success due to its distinguishable game aesthetics and its ease. Never throughout the game are you told how to play or forced to pay for game features (unless you want to) which makes the game experience even more enjoyable.

If you have never downloaded the game, give it a go, or show me your farm.

Mines below!

It’s a little long but I wanted to show you my progress from having to restart the game last year.

Reference

Haselton, T 2017, Here’s every iPhone released, in order, and what changed along the way, CNBC, CNBC, viewed 26 August 2021, <https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/29/every-iphone-released-in-order.html>.

‌Katkoff, M, 2013, Behind the Success of Hay Day — Deconstructor of Fun 2013, Deconstructor of Fun, Deconstructor of Fun, viewed 24 August 2021, <https://www.deconstructoroffun.com/blog//2013/01/behind-success-of-hay-day.html&gt;.

Niedenthal, S 2009, What We Talk About When We Talk About Game Aesthetics, DIVA, DiGRA Online Library, viewed 24 August 2021, <https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1408066&dswid=7801&gt;.

Celebrity Games – DA PITCH

BCM215, Celebrity Games-DA Pitch

The mobile phone gaming industry is a fairly new creative industry with the first mobile game having been introduced in 1997 (Osborn 2014). In a 2012 study, 44% of participants admitted to playing mobile games on a regular basis (Osborn 2014) which suggest to me that the mobile phone gaming industry is an area with the greatest potential to see increase a perfect area for celebrities to also increase their reach.

Mobile phone games are easily accessible for those who have a smartphone with around 3.8 billion people having access to a smartphone which equates to 48.2% of the world’s population (Smartphone users 2026 | Statista 2016). This is again proving the immensely large reach of people this industry. With it only becoming more popular as the access to smartphones increases.

Statista 2021

To put this industry into perspective, Candy Crush Saga was the first mobile phone game to reach $1 billion in revenue and although it hit its peak in 2015, it still continues to release new levels and as of 2020 has 273 million users playing the game at least once a month (Candy Crush Revenue and Usage Statistics, 2021). In 2020, the game was able to generate sales of $1190 million in revenue continuing to prove it is still a highly profitable game.

These statistics would impress anyone, but a celebrity or a celebrity’s manager may find these statistics as more than just impressive, they sound exciting and look like an amazing new business venture to delve into. It may also sound like a great way to continue to capitalise profits. With my DA, my goal is to look into reasons why celebrities have developed mobile phone games. Was it just to make money? Were fans asking for a game? Who reached out to who first? Was it the game developer or the celebrity?

My DA Celebrity Games, will require me to actively play a variety of celebrity mobile games in my free time (not that i’m complaining) to then review and give my opinions on as well as finding external research which will help to identify the reasons this gaming industry is continuously growing.

Looking at my DA, I will be analysing each game from the perspective of a mobile phone gamer who strictly sticks to her games and doesn’t stray far from them or tries to expand her phone game collection. My DA will examine the role of marketing and financial benefits celebrity mobile phone games have.

My Current Games

Celebrity Games will be made public through my youtube channel with mini reviews posted weekly around 5-8 minutes in length. I will also try to film parts of my gaming experience to include into these weekly review videos to be able to talk on how the game experience made me feel. Did the aesthetics make me enjoy the game more? Did the music and sound effects make sense in conjunction to the game? These will be some of the questions I will look at unpacking with each review of a celebrity’s game.

To gain more of an understanding on my DA, please check out my DA pitch video below.

To this I say, lets get gaming!

References

Candy Crush Revenue and Usage Statistics (2021) 2021, Business of Apps, viewed 18 August 2021, <https://www.businessofapps.com/data/candy-crush-statistics/&gt;.

Osborn, G. (2014). Always on the Move: A History of Mobile Gaming. (Article). (Accessed: 18.8.21). http://www.proelios.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/A-History-of-Mobile-Gaming.pdf

Smartphone users 2026 | Statista 2016, Statista, Statista, viewed 18 August 2021, <https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/&gt;.

The Worst Video Game Ever?

BCM215

Being crowned the title of worst anything ever sucks. Having created the worst video game that it had to be buried in the dessert because of its failure would not have been easy for the creators of the game ET, The Extra-Terrestrial.

Magazine advert for ET the video game

It was July of 1982 and the biggest tech company at the time, Atari, decided to buy the video game rights to Speilberg’s, ET movie which had just debuted in June of 1982 and was a huge success. Costing Atari a large sum of $21 million dollars, the game was meant to be an “adventure game in which the player had to help ET phone home by collecting components to make an inter-planetary telephone. The player would have to dodge government agents and scientists to complete the mission” (Hooper 2016). Although it seems like a decent concept for the game, it had a few major downfalls that made it the worst video game ever.

The Major Downfalls

Designing a game with the technology 1982, needed a minimum of 6-8 months but Atari demanded the programmer, Howard Scott Warshaw that the game needed to be created in 5 weeks. After 5 long and stressful weeks the game was completed. “‘Wow, I did it!'” (Hooper 2016).

Sadly after $5 million was spent on advertising, the largest amount at the time ever to be spent on advertising a video game and 4 million initial copies being made, issues began to appear. Players complained that they would get stuck in areas of the game they didn’t know how to get out of and critics complained about the visuals, plot and gameplay.

It’s awesome to be credited with single-handedly bringing down a billion-dollar industry with eight kilobytes of code. 

Howard Scott Warshaw

With the rise of computer games, the ET game only sold 1.5 million units of the 4 million causing Atari a loss of $310 million. In 1983 Atari had buried copies of the ET game along with copies of all its games in the New Mexico Dessert which was finally excavated in 2014. Was it because they wanted to keep copies hidden? Or were they ashamed of what was created?

Interested in what the game looked like? Click the link below to see how the game was played!

References

Hooper, R 2016, The man who made ‘the worst video game in history’, BBC News, BBC News, viewed 12 August 2021, <https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35560458&gt;.

Total Failure: The World’s Worst Video Game 2017, NPR.org, viewed 12 August 2021, <https://www.npr.org/2017/05/31/530235165/total-failure-the-worlds-worst-video-game&gt;.

Wikipedia Contributors 2021, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (video game), Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, viewed 12 August 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.T._the_Extra-Terrestrial_(video_game)#Critical_response&gt;.

A Game Lost in Time- Playground

BCM215

Back when my only worry was feeding my Nintendo dogs, back when school wasn’t stressful and back when online learning was not really a thing, I was addicted to my Nintendo DS. This is the first memory I have of anything gaming related. I was gifted by Santa my light pink Nintendo Lite DS back in 2009 or 2010 and was addicted immediately! One of my favourite games to play was called playground which had originally been released in 2007. It’s a forgotten treasure for me.

My actual game

Looking at my DS and this game more than 10 years later, memories and nostalgia come running back and when thinking about proposing an analytical study for the game, my first thought is to analyse this game through the lens of nostalgia and psychology.

Gathering a small group of people who played this game during its prime time and having them play the game together a decade on whist providing their feedback and nostalgic memories would be the best way to analyse a game now only a part of our childhoods.

Whether the group enjoyed the game and was addicted to it like I was, or they disliked the game because they felt they were not coordinated enough (I don’t remember being a pro), a small focus group would be best suited to bring up memories and feelings towards the game.

Questions to start up conversations within the focus group about the game would include questions such as:

These questions would introduce a conversation between the participants which would allow for similarities and differences to be identified from the experiences the participants felt during the time they actively played the game and the more recent time they played the game.

With the similarities and differences now identified, the analysis would begin to conclude how the participants felt and feel about the game.

So, this is how I would analyse my forgotten game.

Would you analyse your forgotten game in a similar way? Let me know!

-Olivia