I've been hard on Kim Kardashian. Well, not necessarily hard on her as a person, but I've always written about her iOS game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, in a negative way. I apologize for that. I still think the app itself is the kind that appeals to the lowest common denominator, and wouldn't bother wasting a dime on it, but for the first time since KK: Hollywood became a hit, I now have what I can only describe as some much needed perspective. That perspective came in the form of a quarterly earnings report from Candy Crush publisher King Digital Entertainment.
In its report, King noted some disappointing numbers, including a 12% drop in paying users. Analysts have cried foul and recommended investors to hold off on King at the moment, and the company's stock has taken a beating as a result, down almost 25% as of this writing.
But where does Kim Kardashian fit in? Well, her wickedly popular celebrity simulator, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood has been sucking up loads of cash from App Store customers, and according to King, some of that cash was supposed to be going to them instead. "Competition within casual gaming is intense," the report reads, "with Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and 2048 going after the same demographics."
King is blaming its failing App Store strategy -- which consists entirely of copying existing game concepts and rehashing them -- at least partly on Kim Kardashian's app. Thank you, Ms. Kardashian.
To be clear: I'm not thanking the newlywed celebrity for costing King money, because I honestly don't believe KK: Hollywood is to blame for King's woes. What I am thankful for is the opportunity to view her celeb simulator in a new light.
I still don't consider KK: Hollywood to be much of a game, but that doesn't really matter. What it is, is original, well made, and an absolute cash cow that deserves to be raking in money just like it has been. With a celebrity of the caliber of Kim Kardashian attached to it, the game had a pretty good chance of becoming a hit, but it was by no means a guarantee. In short, the Kardashian app was more of a risk than anything King has created in the 11 years the company has been around.
Despite a US$7 billion IPO and more investors than any company could possibly know what to do with, King has yet to risk its now plummeting stock price on anything even remotely resembling an original idea. Now they're paying for it. Kim Kardashian -- whether or not she was deeply involved with how her game actually plays or not -- was able to do it on her first try. Bravo, Kim. Bravo.