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Why it makes sense for design superstar Genevieve Gorder to launch a mobile game

Betsy Wagner
Senior Producer

It’s been said by Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg that careers are more like jungle gyms than straight ladders. If that’s true, television host and interior designer Genevieve Gorder just took a great big leap on the professional playground — into the world of gaming.

This week, she and game giant Jam City announced the release of a renovation-themed mobile game called “Vineyard Valley,” which lets players spruce up a dilapidated wine estate. Gorder helped game designers create the interiors, and she dreamed up a collection of add-on design materials that will be available to win or purchase later in the year.

'Vineyard Valley' is a renovation-themed game from Jam City, in collaboration with celebrity designer Genevieve Gorder

Fun, Games and Big Business

The video game industry is big business: Last year, revenue topped $43 billion, an all-time record and a whopping 18% jump from 2017, according to a report by the Entertainment Software Association. That same report found that the majority of adults — some 62%— now play video games. Their preferred device: the smartphone.

Gorder, who grew up playing Pong, is an avid mobile gamer herself, and Vineyard Valley marks her first venture into the gaming business. It’s a natural move for someone who, over time, has learned the value of diversifying her portfolio. “If you're not diverse at this point in life and time you're a dinosaur,” she told Jen Rogers for Yahoo Finance’s “My Three Cents.” “It's not just one trajectory to happiness and success.”

After making a name for herself on TLC’s “Trading Spaces” and now starring in Bravo’s “Best Room Wins,” Gorder has her hands in all sorts of business projects: from television to home furnishings and accessories and now mobile games.

“I mean, yes, I'm a businesswoman,” she said about her career. “It’s not what I lead with and I do think it's something that I, regretfully, wish I had taken alongside design. And I think it should be a requirement — art schools if you're listening — that we, in tandem, learn business. Because creatives so often have no clue, as our left brains are this big and we sell ourselves short.”

Gorder says she is “super” involved in all of her projects, and wants to keep it that way. “I feel that being authentic is probably the thing I do best,” she told Rogers. “And that means that it has to be in my voice and it has to come from these hands and this brain.”

Vineyard Valley is available for Android and iOS devices.

My Three Cents with Jen Rogers is a weekly interview series that explores celebrities’ history with — and relationship to — money. Find it exclusively on Yahoo Finance.

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