More addicting than Tinder and more rewarding than Candy Crush, the new Kim Kardashian: Hollywood app is draining bank accounts and melting brain cells faster than you can say Mason Disick. Your goal in the game: Climb the Hollywood social ladder with your best new pal Kim Kardashian (exciting, right?!). How you get there: Gain points, make “money,” and achieve A-List status by changing your outfits, booking photo shoots, and flirting, dating, and networking with the right people.
While the game may seem trivial, it’s reportedly making some serious bank. According to Bloomberg, Glu Mobile, the game’s designers, have announced that the game is set to generate $200 million in annual revenue for the company. Let that sink in—$200 million. It has already boosted the company’s share price by 40% in less than a month, which sort of makes sense, since the game’s in-app purchases run as high as $99.99 for 175,000 of its virtual currency. One Jezebel editor spent nearly $500 in one go!
Confession time: This game is so addicting that I’ve even silenced phone calls from my mother mid outfit change. In my defense, outfit changes are important! You have to change your outfits to get a date, and according to the game message I got: “Dating costs money, but it’s a quick way to level up!”
So before you go getting lost in the game—and ending up spending some actual money!—here are five key things we’ve learned while playing the game. (Spoiler: Everything costs money.)
1. Changing up your look is incredibly important. (Also: You can’t get a good look if you’re poor. )
There are tons of customization options for your clothes, shoes makeup, hair, face shape, skin and eye color. If you have trouble deciding on all the details—like your nose shape and whether you’re the cropped T-shirt type—have no fear: You can change as many times as you want, whenever you want, and you even get more points the more you change! What’s the catch? The selection is fine, but all the cutest clothes and shoes, of course, cost real money.
2. Climbing your way up Hollywood’s social ladder involves a ton of bizarre, high-pressure situations that seem to materialize out of thin air.
In a restaurant, I had to approach a caterer to network, and the only option was to “guess her name.” I guessed wrong, and she became furious. Another time, I was trying to sort things out with celebrity “frenemy” Willow Pape, but before I even walked up she called me a stalker and posted a terrible photo on Twitter—all before I could even get a word in!
3. A good management team is absolutely essential. (And also expensive.)
It’s important to have a good publicist. My fight with Willow Pape was put on Twitter blast and I lost 211 followers who all now think I’m a stalker! My publicist came up with a great plan for me to go on a date with a “not desperate” guy, while also spreading some internet rumors about Willow like this:
It’s also important to have a good agent who will book you gigs. My agent, Simon, booked me at some editorial photo shoots, a fashion show, and an ad campaign. When you’re at each event, you complete tasks that get you cash, energy, and K stars, which you need in order to advance.
4. You could accidentally be labeled a lesbian. (Also: Unless you have money, you won’t even be good at it.)
Kim asked whether I wanted to meet the guy I flirted with earlier and the two options were “Yes” or “Actually…”. I thought that would mean she would offer up a different guy, but she went straight into setting me up with a girl named Michelle.
We went on a date to Panino, a restaurant in Beverly Hills.
On our date, however, I didn’t have enough free energy points to accomplish any of the goals of “flirt,” “kiss,” or “romantic glance,” so we had this completely awkward dinner where I couldn’t do a thing (unless I wanted to purchase more energy for real life money).
5. Your energy is everything. (Again, this costs money.)
I was in the middle of a photo shoot which could have easily gotten me one notch higher on the social-climbing ladder … but I couldn’t hold a pose because I was too tired. Desperate for more Kardashian, I really wanted to spend $5 on more stars and be on my way to celebrity status. But since I was refraining from spending actual money, I could do nothing but wait 30 minutes for my energy levels to be replenished. Thank goodness I was planning to write this story, otherwise I definitely would have caved.
That’s our experience! We want to know: Have you gotten addicted to playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood? Sound off in the comments (judgement free) or tweet me @iamsamlim!