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The game’s immense popularity may be the very thing that drives users out.

Years ago, there was a time when you could log onto Facebook without getting a request from a parent or distant relative or not-quite-offline-friend to play Candy Crush. It began in 2009 with FarmVille, and since, Mobile app-based games have carried out a gradual infiltration of our social networks. But, while they thrive on social media, these apps don’t typically work as social networks on their own. They aren’t typically person-centric, and offer little in the way of social interaction outside the game. Plus, their simplicity makes them “faddy” by nature; eventually, people get bored and start playing something else.

Right now the fad is Trivia Crack, but this app’s features transcend the shortcomings of other no-longer-ubiquitous games by establishing a platform for user-created content and harboring the potential for prolonged popularity. In addition to the game, a simple competition between two players in the form categorized questions, the app contains a “Question Factory,” where users can submit trivia questions of their own and vote others into the game. A question must be rated positively by at least 100 users in order to appear in the game. This is where all of the in-game questions originate, and every single one appears next to the name and a picture of the user who submitted it.

Image courtesy of Darien Henshaw

Image courtesy of Darien Henshaw

The “Question Factory” ensures that content remains fresh, varied, and interesting. Users are less likely to lose interest, as evidenced by the game’s 66 day streak atop the Top Free Apps chart in Apple’s App Store. The Wall Street Journal notes that this is a stronger run than other games like Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds have ever had. The game is clearly a major success. It is such a success, in fact, that the “Question Factory” is has been crippled by its overuse.

On average, one million questions are proposed every single day, but only 1,500 new questions are added to the game. Far more users are submitting than voting, and the rapidly growing backlog of pending questions has extended the review process to span several months. A question like “How old is Justin Bieber?” which gets submitted multiple times every day, may no longer be accurate with its correct answer by the time it is approved for the game. If Etermax, Trivia Crack’s creator, can’t solve the problem, they may end up with an effectively useless “Question Factory,” and the game’s popularity may dip because of it. Firms that create app games often struggle with repeated success, so Etermax is doubtlessly hunting down a solution in order to keep Trivia Crack alive.

Perhaps the company should examine the lasting power of a site like Reddit, which similarly takes in a wealth of submissions every day and relies on users voting the best content to the top. Reddit has done an excellent job of establishing online communities and convincing users to return to the site over and over again. If Trivia Crack can somehow be made to allow users to form strong in-app identities, users may be more dedicated to the maintenance of the app, and Trivia Crack might not disappear from public focus like its predecessors.

Featured image courtesy of Darien Henshaw

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One thought on “Trivia Crack is Suffering from Success

  1. As someone who used to play Trivia Crack regularly and now doesn’t, this article raises very resonating concerns. One of the main issues I had with the questions were the complete randomness of the content. You could get one question that asks what sport is played at the Superbowl and a subsequent question about which team was the runner up at the Rose Bowl in 1980. However, I’m not sure that solely a voting system like Reddit’s would necessarily solve the problem. Sites and apps like Yik Yak and Reddit rely on actual content whereas Trivia Crack is a question specifically for the site (I’m not sure how to explain this well) and there may still not be enough incentive for people to read through the questions and vote on them. I think that there needs to be rewards not just for writing good questions, but also for voting for questions. Perhaps, someone who writes a good question that is approved can earn some sort of reward, like an extra life or some coins. And voting for questions also earns lives and coins. Maybe for questions that are highly voted the writer could earn even more coins. Another issue I have with the game is the constant barrage of in-game purchase advertisements. I understand there is a paywall so that the company behind the game can make money off of it but the constant barrage of ads for more casual users is off-putting. Perhaps in a similar vein to Reddit, Trivia Crack can lower down on the advertisements but maybe give badges or visible rewards that other people can see to people who have bought in-game currency.

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