The app takes the form of a live game show, played in the US at 9 PM Eastern Time every day, and 3 PM on weekdays. The host of the show asks a series of twelve multiple choice questions, each with three possible answers. Those players who get the question correct within the 10 second limit move on to the next round, the rest are eliminated. The players that correctly answer the final question split the prize money.
So far, the number of participants in the US has grown to 750,000. The prize money is currently $2,000 for most games, but it has been as high as $18,000. Although the creators have stated that they plan to someday increase it to $1,000,000.
HQ Trivia has already expanded to the UK, which means that it is currently in two countries. Although I’m not sure if they realize the storm of copy cats in China. Would that count as well?
In China the game was first introduced by one of the online video apps called 西瓜视频 (melon live). It is integrated in that app as a new feature and it obviously picked up steam fast. Not long after that, two other online video apps (花椒直播 & 一直播) integrated identical games. The concept was so popular that even two standalone apps have popped up (冲顶大会 & 芝士超人). And of course, as is typical in China, they all look pretty much the same:
Doing things bigger and better is usually the goal in China, which is what these apps are certainly adhering to. 750,000 participants became 75,000,000. Playing the game twice a day became more than 5 times a day. And the prize money of $2,000 has increased to 500,000RMB ($75,000) with individual people raking in 40,000RMB ($6,000) per game (see screenshot).
With China being the gigantic market it is, it is no surprise there are already so many players in this very new market. And you can be sure there will be more, this trend and its newly acquired market is certainly not saturated yet.
We are left with one question though, how do these apps make money?