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

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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 Words Everyday. Coming next month.🗓 Play HQ Words every day.💰 Bigger prizes.🕹 More ways to win.🔥 $9.99/mo. subscription. RT and reply with your username for a chance to win a free year. #wordseveryday - HQ Words (@hqwords) June 26, 2019
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
 

bbednarz

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
1,348
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Chicago
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.
 
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nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,980
1,906
DE
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.

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.
 
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bbednarz

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
1,348
3,396
Chicago
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.
You can only win 10 cents so many times before it gets old! lol
 
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MisterSavage

macrumors 68030
Nov 10, 2018
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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.
 
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trusso

macrumors 6502
Oct 4, 2003
456
1,110
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.
 
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MisterSavage

macrumors 68030
Nov 10, 2018
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What is the logic behind paying to play a game where you can only win like $0.10 per game at best?

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.
 
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unfunfionn

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2015
170
136
Berlin, Germany
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.

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.
 
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trusso

macrumors 6502
Oct 4, 2003
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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.
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.
 
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MisterSavage

macrumors 68030
Nov 10, 2018
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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?

You can swipe right to make the chat disappear.
 
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