If you haven’t already heard about HQ, there’s a good chance you’re about to.
The game, which launched in late August but just started picking up steam online earlier this month, is a live trivia game that takes place twice a day; once at 3 p.m. ET and again at 9 p.m. ET on weekdays. Contestants use their phones to log in and compete with people around the world for a cash prize, which also allows the game to keep score of your weekly rank and financial balance. Players are given 10 seconds to pick the right answer and, upon winning, move on to the next round. The group of winners at the very end split the $250 prize amongst themselves, which is delivered to their respective PayPal accounts.
The game show, which was created by two of Vine’s co-founders, Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, is inspired by series like Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Jeopardy!, but designed in a way that everyone around the world can enjoy. Think Big Fat Quiz meets QuizUp. The game has a steadily growing player base, with more than 4,500 players according to TechCrunch. Players don’t have to put up any of their own money, making it a low stakes/high reward situation that’s easy to get addicted to.
It’s not that HQ has better questions than other trivia games, but the combination of good UI design and a talented host (Scott Rogowsky), makes it far better than any of the other community trivia games I’ve played. The fact that you can walk away with actual money is an added bonus, even if it does feel sketchy the first time you play.
Yusupov told TechCrunch they’re not looking into charging players for playing anytime soon. Instead, HQ is looking into partnering with brands for sponsored questions or advertisement placements in-between questions to help with monetization.
“We’ve been playing around with options,” says Yusupov. “This Sunday we did a sponsored game that let us give away the biggest prize.”
HQ isn’t a top-tier game just yet, but it’s one of the most talked about on Twitter. The game is currently only available on iOS devices, but that’s likely to change with growing popularity. Polygon has reached out to HQ’s team for more information.