Trivia Crack, a game-show style quiz app that launched in Argentina, is swiftly taking over schools and college campuses around the world.
For months, Trivia Crack has been one of the most popular apps in American app stores, currently topping both the free and paid app charts. Now boasting 100 million users and 800,000 daily downloads, the app yesterday expanded with a UK version.
The basic of Trivia Crack is as old as board games. Users spin a colorful wheel, and then must answer a trivia question from one of six categories: geography, science, history, sports, art and entertainment. To win the game, you must win a crown in each of these categories before your opponent. You win crowns by correctly answering questions either after answering three questions in a row or landing on the purple crown icon.
Although the game is simple, as its name implies, it is completely addictive. Maximo Cavazzani, the CEO of the Argentinian gaming company Etermax that produces the app, says the name works on multiple levels.
“We thought of the name crack because it’s disruptive to the mind,” Cavazzani said. He added it could refer to the drug, but in Argentina “crack” is commonly used synonymously with the word expert. Etermax uses “Crack” in the titles of many of its American game titles, including Bingo Crack.
Trivia Crack is the first of Etermax’s games to take off in the United States. The company’s Apalabrados, a Spanish version of Words With Friends, was one of the top games in Spain. Cavazzani said because of that game’s past success, Trivia Crack was popular and profitable from day one.
But Trivia Crack, or Preguntados as its known in Spanish speaking countries, has reached new levels of success. In Argentina, a TV game show version of Trivia Crack has been aired, and a board game version is available.
Cavazzani says he thinks the app has been able to differentiate itself from existing trivia apps because of its question factory, dedicating many of the company’s engineers to just developing that part of the game. Trivia Crack allows users to submit questions for the game, which, Cavazzani said, keeps the questions in the app new and relevant.
Obviously allowing everyone to submit questions results in a lot of duds, but Trivia Crack also allows users to offer feedback on the questions. If they’re reported as offensive, boring or wrong, they get the boot. Cavazzani estimated if the system received 200,000 question submissions, about 1,000 will go to production. Then the frequency the questions appear depends on user feedback and the number of correct responses they receive.
He noted that while Trivia Crack has users of all ages, it’s become particularly popular at schools and universities, where players are more likely to ask people around them for help with answers. Once friends help with answers, they’re more likely to download and play it themselves. On my own campus, it’s hard to miss how many students are spinning the colorful Trivia Crack wheel on their way to class or even during dry lectures.
Trivia Crack isn’t perfect. Sometimes you still get questions that seem unfairly easy as compared to others. If you play frequently, you’ll see questions repeat.
Cavazanni said the app has overcome many of the obstacles of producing trivia questions that work for a global audience. Initially he said American users were at times frustrated by the number of soccer questions that came up in the sports category.
Despite some of the initial cultural barriers, Cavazzani said he attributes much of the app’s success to its roots in Latin America.
“We’re proof that great things in technology can be done outside of Silicon Valley,” Cavazzani said. “It forces you to be a more independent company.”