Mowjow has studied several different apps and user behaviors to create the app you see today. So we decided to create a series of articles around other successful apps so you can see what we learnt from them.

Having covered QuizUp last week, we are looking at Trivia Crack this week. A very similar, yet different game to QuizUp, which has proven to be incredibly successful. In fact, it’s broken a few records along the way. Funnily, the reasons behind its success are very similar to those of QuizUp.

The Launch

Trivia Crack can be seen as an overnight success, but it took years to get there. Founder and chief executive, Maximo Cavazzani, says that it took a long time to perfect the game’s design, social connectivity and user-input combination. He claims that without taking the time to develop a game properly, you will not have success with its users.

Organic Marketing

At first Trivia Crack spent very little money on marketing - they let people do their talking. Their focus was to create a good game. From there players who loved it could invite friends via social media to play with them. And it worked. They even suspect their success in the US when they launched the game in English (it was launched in Latin America first, where the company is based) had to do with people in Latin America already challenging their relatives in the States to play with them. And they must have done something right because they spent 60 days as the number one downloaded game in the US app store. That’s a record.

Local Efforts

When launching in a certain region Trivia Quiz has ensured there are questions relevant to that region, which has helped its popularity.  

Categories

Being a game similar to Trivial Pursuit, Trivia Crack started off having only six categories in which you could play: Entertainment, Art, Sports, History, Science and Geography. From the beginning the questions were partially crowd-sourced - you submit a question and depending on how many likes it gets, it’s either accepted into the game, or not.

However, the game has developed - people wanted more categories, so as of mid-2015 you can now start “channels.” For example, if you are a maths teacher you can start a channel for your class, where the class can compete against each other. It’s similar to having your own YouTube channel - you choose the music, so to speak.

Revenue

Whilst Trivia Crack is far from the top grossing app in the app store, they had a mobile gaming revenue of $25 billion in 2014. This is thanks to a combination of offering an ad free version at a cost and in app purchases, as well as, of course, having companies pay for ads. The company also offers merchandize, like t-shirts and mugs, a TV show and a board game. Like any good Hollywood blockbuster these days, Trivia Crack has turned itself into a franchise of sorts.

Regarding the in app purchases, they give you player advantages (like extra time to answer a question) and more “lives”. The lives will be updated one per hour (till you have three), but a game costs you one life, so if you want to play more than three games in a row, you need more lives. Now you can also watch a video to get a life, which will help with ad revenue for the company.

What’s interesting to note is that people are willing to pay to play more and to win more easily, even if there are no prizes, save glory, in the game.

They Reinvent the Wheel

Throughout Trivia Crack has listened to its players; allowing them to provide questions, as well as updating the game in ways they have asked for. The ability to create channels is one of those updates. Another update they’ve made is the ability to play against another player using different topics - now a history buff can challenge a geography buff. They also added a lot of new features in 2015 to keep the game fresh - most players tend to wander off to play other games otherwise.

So What Can Mowjow Learn from This?

For us it’s reassuring to hear that successful companies have spent a lot of time developing their apps to function properly, because that’s where we’ve invested a lot of time and effort.

To see that the social aspect is such a huge part of the success is another thing we like hearing, as Mowjow is all about rewarding players who invite their friends to play. We even award free prize games for those who do it. And if people are willing to pay simply for ad free games and an ability to play more games and have perks whilst playing those games, we feel sure they’ll be willing to pay for playing for big prizes. We’re offering the cherry on the cake if you like.

Like Trivia Crack we are also working to keep things fresh by adding new categories, and allowing for social interaction between players in a variety of different ways. For us its one of the key aspects as people’s attention tend to wander from one game to the next. Few players will consistently play a game for five years; it’s all about creating updates that make them come back, even if they take a break from a game for a while.

We feel certain we have enough in common with Trivia Crack to entice a lot of their players, yet we are different enough that they will get a slightly different kick from playing our picture based trivia game that focuses as much on prizes as it does on learning and entertainment.  

This post was originally published on November 27, 2016.