It's been well over a year since HQ Trivia spiked in popularity
, but now that interest in the game is dwindling and downloads per month are down 92 percent year-over-year, the company has begun laying off employees.
According to sources speaking to TechCrunch
, about 20 percent of staff was let go, amounting to six or seven people. Although the app became immensely popular, HQ Trivia only ever staffed about 35 people, so it will now be down to under 30 employees.
In the wake of its dwindling popularity, HQ Trivia's spin-off game HQ Words is launching a monthly subscription model that will cost $9.99 per month. The Wheel of Fortune-style game
will introduce the new model in August, along with bigger prizes and more ways to win, for those who pay the subscription fee.
HQ Trivia is said to have had a rocky first half of 2019, with co-founder and CEO Colin Kroll's death in December 2018 leading into co-founder Rus Yusupov gaining control. Staff apparently disliked Yusupov's leadership, as he allegedly "allowed the product to stagnate and popularity to decline," so many employees got behind a petition to have him removed as CEO.
Yusupov learned of the petition and fired two of its leaders, further sinking morale at the company. The board is reportedly still looking for a new CEO.
This article, "HQ Trivia Lays Off Staff and Pivots to $9.99/Month Subscription Model for HQ Words
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One year after launching the successful live game show app HQ Trivia, Intermedia Labs is planning a new game called HQ Words. Instead of a basic series of trivia questions and multiple choice answers, HQ Words has a hidden phrase presented in a series of letter blocks that look like the puzzles from "Wheel of Fortune" (via Digiday
Players will be presented with a clue for each puzzle, and below the empty tiles are letters that they can select to complete it. You'll get three strikes, and will be awarded for each correct letter you choose. HQ Words will be live, just like HQ Trivia, so every player will be solving the same puzzle at the same time, and those with the most points win the jackpot.
The new puzzle type in HQ Words
CEO Colin Kroll discussed the company's readiness to move beyond trivia:
“We’re trying to diversify a bit, and that’s where my skill-set comes in handy. My favorite part of working here is your imagination runs wild when you look at what we’re doing and you apply that to any idea. The sky is the limit, but the challenge is how do we build them,” Kroll said.
The company is hoping that it can avoid some of the problems that have been prevalent in HQ Trivia over the past year, namely including numerous glitches, technical challenges, and cheating. Sponsorships in HQ Words have not yet been mentioned, but given the frequency of sponsors in HQ Trivia
, users can likely expect the same for the new game.
A specific launch date for HQ Words was not confirmed, but you should see it appear on the iOS App Store in October.Discuss this article
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