HQ Trivia Lays Off Staff and Pivots to $9.99/Month Subscription Model for HQ Words

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    Article Link: HQ Trivia Lays Off Staff and Pivots to $9.99/Month Subscription Model for HQ Words
  2. Goldfrapp, Jul 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019

    Goldfrapp macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2005
    With average person's attention span getting shorter and shorter by the second, people stop obsessing over viral hits quicker and quicker, eventually abandoning and forgetting about them altogether.
  3. Andronicus macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2008
    Looks like their staff is now down to the nitty gritty.
  4. Sethal macrumors member


    Jun 5, 2014
    Another subscription, oh, boy! And $9.99 no less for a iPhone game. Well, can’t say they ain’t bold. Good luck with that.
  5. timmywa macrumors newbie


    Mar 27, 2017
    Utah, USA
    I imagine Rogowski's departure has a LOT to do with the decline. That dude was a freaking pro! Super funny and an incredible ad-libber that can BS with the best of them.
  6. bbednarz macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2017
    I wish they would consistently bring back the 2pm game. Was a great mid-day break with a few coworkers. Since they stopped airing those games I have stopped playing all together. Oh well, it had a good run. Paying to play HQ Words is bananalands.
  7. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    Agree wholeheartedly here. I never downloaded, nor played the game, but I know several of my friends played the game on a regular basis when the app was first launched. I'm pretty sure they no longer play the game or simply deleted the app from their phone's.
  8. bbednarz macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2017
    You can only win 10 cents so many times before it gets old! lol
  9. cocky jeremy macrumors 601

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Real headline:

    Trivia game is about to be gone permanently.
  10. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    Lol 10$ a month to play a quiz game! Bitch be crazy. I don’t even pay that much for Spotify or Hulu.
  11. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    People still play this? I was under the impression most people played it for maybe a month at most, then got bored of it.
  12. jecowa macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    Remember when Apple removed the screen from the iPhone? It was really controversial, but then all the Android phones started copying it.
  13. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    they'll be long forgotten & doors closed up in no time. Where's the Pet Rock now?
  14. MisterSavage macrumors 65816


    Nov 10, 2018
    I stopped playing HQ Trivia when Scott left.

    I actually won HQ Words one time. My share of the jackpot was a stunning 13 cents.

    I think HQ Words is more entertaining but there's no way in hell I'd pay $10 a month to play.
  15. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    It is just a matter of time before the company folds. The writing is on the wall.
  16. JetTester macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2014
    For $9.99 a month, it should come with an iPhone to play it on!
  17. jmpmntwnty3 macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2007
    South Carolina
    What is the logic behind paying to play a game where you can only win like $0.10 per game at best?
  18. trusso macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2003
    This should come as no surprise to people with adequate critical thinking faculties.

    So many "start-ups" (and I hate that word) have unsustainable business models (not to mention often producing things that nobody really needs). Please, folks: spend your money on tangible goods and necessities, not useless and incorporeal junk.
  19. MisterSavage macrumors 65816


    Nov 10, 2018
    Well to be fair when they launched HQ Words the jackpots were significantly lower than HQ Trivia. I'd hope the jackpots would be much higher if they were charging to play.
  20. unfunfionn macrumors member


    Mar 12, 2015
    Berlin, Germany
    The business model in a lot of these cases is little more than the C-levels making a tonne of money from an exit. When that doesn’t happen fast enough, things disintegrate fairly quickly.
  21. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
    Developer needs sport car money.
  22. trusso macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2003
    I'm not naive, but that fact that this type of thing is the status quo troubles me, as it should many others. Playing fast and loose with other peoples' lives and money is shameful - there's simply no other word for it.
  23. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I hadn't actually heard of this, but regardless... what the heck is the random chat stuff that's shown below the actual game in the story images? Did the game itself bombard you with that garbage?
  24. MisterSavage macrumors 65816


    Nov 10, 2018
    You can swipe right to make the chat disappear.

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