For the past two months, Trivia Crack has dominated the App Store, rising to the No. 1 spot and staying there for 60 consecutive days.
It’s shattered the previous 38-day record held by the 2012 hit game Draw Something.
“Right now we have 20 million daily active users,” Maximo Cavazzani, CEO of Etermax, the Argentina-based game studio behind Trivia Crack, tells Business Insider. “We now have more than 100 million registered users.”
Those 20 million users are all making Etermax money too. While 99% opt for the free-to-play version of the game, advertisements and in-app purchases make up around 50% of the game’s revenue. The other 50% comes from the 1% of customers that choose to buy the ad-free, pro version of Trivia Crack for $US2.99.
But Trivia Crack’s rise to 20 million users has snowballed over time, and it wasn’t very popular starting out.
The app has actually been around since late 2013, but Cavazzani says the game truly took off once they added a feature called the Question Factory, which allowed users to submit their own questions and see questions that were specific to their own country.
“At the end of 2013, after making three games, we started thinking about doing a trivia app for a platform, and we realised that the main problem with trivia games was content,” Cavazzani says. “The problem was that if you live in Latin America or Argentina or Mexico, you don’t want the same questions as people who live in Spain. What you should do is get content for each country in each language, which is pretty difficult and very expensive. So we started thinking out of the box and we realised what we needed was for the users to create the content and also moderate it. That’s how we came out with the Question Factory.”
The Question Factory turned out to be the secret sauce Trivia Crack needed. Once it was added to the US version of the game in December, Trivia Crack catapulted to the top of the App Store, and it’s stayed there ever since.
The Question Factory now has 20 million unapproved questions in its vaults, with 1 million approved.
But a lot of Trivia Crack’s viral spread can be chalked up to the natural way people play the game. When people don’t know an answer, they will ask their friends, which Cavazzani says is the very definition of word-of-mouth marketing.
“There’s a big virality to the app because if you’re playing and you don’t know the question, you just say it out loud, and if you say it out loud, someone hears you and says, ‘What are you playing?’ That’s how you have a virality — that’s not the regular virality you see in other games. It’s just man to man.”
When asked what trends he’s noticed, Cavazzani said he’s noticed one particular funny trend.
“We see that maybe Americans aren’t that good in foreign geography,” he says. “They like a lot of questions about their pop stars, Kim Kardashian and all that, I saw question about Monica Lewinsky and that was very popular too. It’s kind of funny to see that.”
So what’s next for Etermax?
There’s already a sequel to Trivia Crack in development, which will allow users to create their own Trivia Crack channels designated to a particular subject or age group. People will be able to follow the channels they like, causing the most popular channels to rise to the top.
Cavazzani says this will allow players with niche interests to play games revolving around maths, ecology, or edgier adult content, while teachers and friend groups will be able to create their own channels filled with inside jokes and other oddball questions.
“We’ll see what happens,” says Cavazzani, who also mentioned the original Trivia Crack will continue to exist. “I don’t know if it’s going to work, but if it does, it will be something great to see.”