Everyone from startups and social media platforms to major TV networks are getting in on the trivia trend, but are they too late?
HQ Trivia took the app store by storm late last year, with Time reporting that “everybody is obsessed" with the game, and The Verge going so far as to call it “the future of both mobile gaming and live TV.” TechCrunch reports the app peaked this January when it hit number six in the app store, and had a game to remember to wrap up the year: over 750,000 people played the addictive gaming experience that night, a strong start to 2018 and a harbinger for things to come—until it wasn’t. Like most over-hyped apps, the excitement has since cooled. And the app’s downloads have been sloping downward ever since. Sensor Tower data estimates that app installs dropped to 560K last month, compared to a peak of “two million per month back in February.”
Nonetheless, many new companies are hopping on the trend, hoping to emulate the aspects that propelled HQ to fame in the first place. HQ told Ypulse that “the future of TV is interactive, mobile and social,” and HQ Trivia fits the bill because it’s “very different from traditional TV, streaming or gaming experiences, where the audience plays more of a passive role, watching from behind a screen, on-demand.” Adweek also reports that HQ Trivia’s success is one example of how anti-on demand experiences are on the rise, opening the door for brands to cash in. “People are scheduling their days around playing HQ,” explained the CEO, “and it’s a very dramatic shift from what we’ve been seeing in digital media with Netflix, Hulu and these services that promise convenience.”
That’s all to say that we shouldn’t count out HQ copycats just yet. The underlying trends that propelled this game up the app store echelons are still…