In the game, which launched in June 2014 and is available on iOS and Android for $1.99, players can create their own celebrity, book appearances, befriend Kardashian and, ultimately, rise to the A-list. The app has been downloaded more than 45 million times and has generated $160 million total revenue, although Forbes estimates that the reality star pocketed a mere $45 million.
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, 35, also landed the No. 42 spot on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list after she earned $51 million this year, 40 percent of which came from the app alone.
“I became really intrigued with the tech world,” Kardashian told the magazine. “I started spending a lot of time in San Francisco. I realized this is really going to be the next cycle of my career and this is what I want to focus on.”
The mom of daughter North, 3, and son Saint, 7 months, also revealed that she grew up on video games. “I remember I asked Kanye [West], ‘Should I do this?’ He was like, ‘Yes!’ That’s how he got into music because he wanted to do music for video games and wanted to create video games,” she said of hubby Kanye West. “I was like, ‘I wonder if people are really going to … mimic my life.’”
To keep the app up-to-date, Kardashian works with developers to sync her daily life with her virtual life. When she traveled to Punta Mita, Mexico, her character in the game arrived on the same day.
“I would give [developer Glu Mobile] bikinis and be like, ‘Hurry up and mock up this bikini, because I’m going to wear it, and then you can have it live in the game!’” she explained.
The Selfish author also has a $2.99-a-month eponymous app that gives fans an inside look with daily Kardashian content, videos and even beauty tutorials. Amid it all, Kardashian says she refuses to let haters get in the way of her success.
“When people looked at me in a way like, ‘Why is she stepping into the tech world? That’s not her territory! Stick to reality TV!’ I was like, ‘No,’” she said. “This is fun for me. Now I’m coming up with Kimojis and the app and all these other ideas. I don’t see myself stopping.”
After Kardashian’s Forbes cover was revealed, she gushed on Instagram: “Such a tremendous honor to be on the cover of @forbes! I never dreamed this would happen& know my Dad would be proud. #NotBadForAGirlWithNoTalent.”