Surely you remember when HQ Trivia was the hottest thing going. Launched late in 2017, those installing the app on their iOS or Android device could partake in a twice daily live trivia contest (once a day on the weekends) trying to win their share of a real cash price. But lately, things have not been going so well at HQ Trivia, according to Tech Crunch. The downward spiral started last December following the death of HQ co-founder Colin Kroll. Kroll's death allowed co-founder Rus Yusupov to take over as CEO and he allegedly just sat around and allowed HQ's popularity to decline. Yusupov was the subject of a failed coup attempt earlier this year, and that also dragged down morale. The departure of original host Scott Rogowsky in April didn't help things.
Sensor Tower shows that from January to June, HQ Trivia and Words has been installed 827,000 times compared to 10.2 million installs during the same time frame last year. That is a stunning decline. Meanwhile, the company is going to offer its regular Wheel of Fortune style HQ Words game on Tuesday and Thursday and will charge a monthly $9.99 fee to those who would like to play this game every day. A tweet sent from the HQ Words Twitter account last month noted that those who pony up the monthly fee will get to play for bigger prizes every day with more ways to win.While 20% of the company's staff have been let go, the number of times the HQ Trivia and Words app has been downloaded over the first six months of this year is down a shocking 92% on an annual basis.
We're not sure how many people would be willing to obligate themselves to pay another monthly fee of $9.99, this time for the right to play a word game. HQ Trivia's online fansite, HQTrivia.fan, closed this week and the end seems near for the entire category of live online game shows that HQ helped to create with its initial success. Perhaps larger prize money on a consistent basis would have helped. In January 2018, one HQ Trivia game drew 1.6 million contestants seeking to win a total cash prize of $15,000. And earlier this year, HQ experimented by giving out points to winners instead of money.
If things continue at this pace, one day HQ Trivia and Words will be only remembered as the answer to a trivia question.