Speaking in a recent interview, Kim Kardashian expresses her dislike for microtransactions, despite the fact that her own mobile game relies on them to make money.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is the successful mobile game, downloaded over 42 million times, that supposedly features creative involvement from reality TV star Kim Kardashian herself. For those unaware, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is free-to-play, meaning that it makes money through microtransactions, so some may be surprised to learn that Kim Kardashian doesn’t like microtransactions – at least when they annoy her daughter.
Speaking in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Kardashian recalled a long road trip she was on with her daughter, North West. During the road trip, North kept crying because the games she was playing would stop and prompt her to make in-app purchases, as free-to-play mobile games tend to do.
Since Kardashian didn’t name specific games, it’s hard to determine if her gripes about microtransactions should be taken seriously. To that end, Kardashian seems hypocritical for complaining about microtransactions at all, as her own mobile game used them to pull in $500 million in revenue for mobile developer Glu, which in turn made her millions of dollars.
Aware of this potential hypocrisy, Kardashian clarified that she is fine with microtransactions if they appear at the “appropriate time,” as opposed to “every two seconds.” Again, it’s difficult to verify if Kardashian is exaggerating or not without knowing the specific games North was playing, but she’s correct that some free-to-play games have more invasive microtransactions than others.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, according to Kim, is an example of microtransactions done right, insisting that the game’s microtransactions are noninvasive and sporadic. Something else to consider is that Kim Kardashian’s game isn’t necessarily aimed at children, which may make the use of microtransactions more acceptable in her eyes.
Whether or not Kim’s dislike for microtransactions is justified, at least she’s not the only one in her family with the same opinion. In fact, Kim’s husband Kanye West spoke out against microtransactions back in October of last year, expressing his anger at microtransactions in free-to-play kids games. Of course, without microtransactions, the developers that produce these free-to-play games would be producing content with no way of making the money back, so they’re a necessary evil for most games in the mobile market.
It’s clear that the couple have a problem with microtransactions, but there is no escaping them when it comes to free-to-play mobile games. Moving forward, perhaps Kim Kardashian and Kanye West may want to look into more traditional video games for their children to enjoy. Maybe investing in a 3DS or other handheld gaming device could help Kim and Kanye avoid long road trips with a crying baby in the future. Furthermore, if Kim Kardashian and Kanye West dislike microtransactions as much as they claim, the couple may want to avoid the business model for their future gaming projects, such as Kanye West’s upcoming game.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is available now for Android and iOS mobile devices.