HQ Smashed Its All-Time Player Record Tonight as iPhone Trivia Show Continues to Surge in Popularity

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iPhone trivia game HQ continues to surge in popularity. Tonight, over two-thirds of a million users played along for a chance to win $10,000.


HQ tweeted that over 680,000 users played Sunday evening's game, easily a new all-time record, while the in-game counter showed over 700,000 players were connected at various points of the roughly 15 minute show. That's more than twice as many players as some HQ games drew just last week.

SMASHED the record for players tonight with over 2/3 of a MILLION #HQties! From 680,000+ down to 107 in 12 questions. Congrats to all! - HQ Trivia (@hqtrivia) December 18, 2017

For those of you who are just learning about HQ as you read this article, it is a free-to-play live trivia game show--sort of like Jeopardy--in which players attempt to answer a series of 12 questions correctly to win a cash prize. To reduce cheating, players have less than 10 seconds to answer each question.

The app launched on iPhone in September, with an Android version promised by Christmas Day. HQ attracted an audience in the lower thousands during its earliest days, with prizes starting at around $100, but the game has become an absolute viral sensation and now pulls around 300,000 to 400,000 or more players every game.

As the game's popularity has grown, so have the prizes. 107 winners split a prize of $10,000 on Sunday--that's roughly $93 each--and HQ even gave away $10,000 twice in one night earlier this month. Once players have won at least $20, they can cash out their U.S. dollar winnings via PayPal.

Unfortunately, as it has ballooned in size, HQ has experienced several technical difficulties. The most common issue is lag, but there are sometimes bigger problems. Saturday night's game initially saw no correct answers displayed, for example, resulting in the show being delayed by about 45 minutes.


HQ games take place every day at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and there's an extra game at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on weekdays. The shows are usually hosted by comedian Scott Rogowsky, with occasional guest hosts ranging from electronic music artist Dillon Francis to on-air personality Sharon Carpenter.

While it remains to be seen if HQ will be able to maintain its popularity over the long term, it might be the fastest growing thing that isn't named Bitcoin right now. If you haven't yet joined in the fun, download the app from the App Store now and opt into notifications to be alerted when a new game starts.

Article Link: HQ Smashed Its All-Time Player Record Tonight as iPhone Trivia Show Continues to Surge in Popularity
 

4jasontv

macrumors 68000
Jul 31, 2011
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And this isn't gambling because luck plays no part in winning, there are no IAP or ads and a list of winners real names are posted in their website?
 

djcerla

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Apr 23, 2015
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This sounds like a new gold rush for developers.

The app launched on iPhone in October, with an Android version promised by Christmas Day


"Ultimately, application vendors are driven by volume, and volume is favoured by the open approach Google is taking, You will want to develop for Android first”
(Eric Schmidt, 2011)

 

matthew12

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Aug 27, 2009
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Neat! But this app will probably be dead by summer anyway like most apps. How long did apps like QuizUp last before you either deleted them or forgot they were on your phone?
 

JosephAW

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May 14, 2012
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Just another flappy bird. There will be 1000+ clones by the end of the week. I passed on flappy bird, I'll pass on this.
 

960design

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Apr 17, 2012
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I'm obviously not putting too much thought into this...

How do 300,000 people play one game?

Is everyone answering the same questions at once?

If so... no wonder there's some lag! :p
It certainly is an impressive amount of coding to break the main app into microservices, auto db replication, horizontal scaling, ect. I would certainly be interested in the work processes that went into making this happen. Did they plan on nearly 1/2 million concurrent users from the beginning?
 

Michael Scrip

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It certainly is an impressive amount of coding to break the main app into microservices, auto db replication, horizontal scaling, ect. I would certainly be interested in the work processes that went into making this happen. Did they plan on nearly 1/2 million concurrent users from the beginning?
I was just wondering how this game works.

This is the first I've even heard of it... and I don't have time now to check it out.

I was just shocked that 300,000 (or 600,000) people are somehow able to play a trivia game at one time.

Crazy stuff!
 

ArtOfWarfare

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Nov 26, 2007
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Jeopardy does the same thing a few times a year during their initial screening before people come on the show. It starts with a 15 minute online quiz that anyone can take concurrently. The pick out the best 1000 or so for an in-person quiz and interview. Then they pick the best 400 from that pool to be actual contestants on the show.

I could imagine that they actually turn this into some kind of show closer to Jeopardy. Maybe instead of simply winning at the end, they take the winners and drop them into a smaller Jeopardy style contest conducted via webcams that everyone else watches. The webcam portion could be syndicated on TV in addition to being in the app and have ads during it.
 

960design

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I was just wondering how this game works.

This is the first I've even heard of it... and I don't have time now to check it out.

I was just shocked that 300,000 (or 600,000) people are somehow able to play a trivia game at one time.

Crazy stuff!
Friends in the office have been playing for a few weeks now. 2pm - 2:15pm productivity stops. Sadness and laughter ensues. I have a competitive and addictive personality, so I'm staying away from this one, for my own sanity. It is fun to hear the questions they miss. No way I would have gotten them.
 

kingtj

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I've been playing HQ for a little while now, but I agree with the crowd asking, "How is this going to ever make money?"

The whole thing is a project started by the creators of the now dead "Vine" (like a Twitter for short video snippets).

I have to suspect this thing was funded by a bunch of Venture Capital money that they're just burning through, $1000 or $10,000 prize per game at a time.

The interviews I read with them keep going on about how they think HQ marks the "future of the TV game show", with people playing online as contestants from everywhere. But that's kind of a ridiculous claim. HQ is much more like the old trivia games at bars and restaurants that you used to play over the TVs in the establishments. It's not like a real game show at all. As soon as you get a question wrong, you're out of the game completely and stuck just watching the rest of the questions get asked if you don't quit the application at that point. (I bet most people do.)

People are just playing this because answering trivia questions is mildly entertaining, and the prospect of making some cash is the main attraction. But it would be just as fun if they didn't even have the live streamed hosts talking between questions and reading them off.

Ad revenue is the obvious choice for trying to make some money with HQ -- but they don't even run a single ad right now, meaning it's just a pure expense running it.
 

bunnyhero

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Nov 4, 2008
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i just wish there was a way to turn off the chat room! it's useless for chatting, but apparently great for spamming/abuse.
 

jclardy

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Oct 6, 2008
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so how are they planning to make money with this?
To be honest, they should be rolling in it already, but they are being pretty slow to change.

They essentially have a captive audience of 300-400k people twice a day, for fifteen minutes. Sell sponsored questions, or have the host give shout outs to whatever product. Or even have guest hosts that plug their own content (think movie cast members going on to promote their movie the day before release.)

But that is also contingent on them implementing some more social features, like being able to see if your friends are still in. Right now once you lose there is no incentive to watch anymore, so numbers drop off massively after question 4 or so.