HQ Trivia business model, how much $$$ do they get?

Business Development
25 Jan
Stanislav Zayarsky

Most obvious HQ Trivia’s business model consists of next:

  1. They sell “extra lives” to users for $3.99 one or $9.99 for three lives
  2. They show advertisements during the game, sponsors pay
  3. By increasing game user base they increase company valuation.

Probably they have some other ideas how to make money, but I think 3 ways listed above are primary ones.

Extra Lives

We can use game stats data from website HQbuff.com. When user answers correctly he follows to next question, otherwise he needs to use “Extra Life” in order to avoid elimination. Game shows amount of users who answered correctly and amount of users who didn’t. Therefore we can calculate amount of “Extra lives” used in total for the game. This approach won’t show 100% exact numbers because some users decide to stop playing themselves, or game server error threw them out. But still I think we can get the big picture.

For example let’s check the simple regular game on 10th January 2019 with prize $2500

HQ Trivia business model, how much $$$ do they get? 1

“Users Fluctuation” numbers consists from users who:

  1. Left the game by closing the application or just didn’t answer question (-1)
  2. Were forced to stop because of server error (-1)
  3. Someone who used “Extra Life” (+1)

For example after first question we see that 3740 users left the game. After a second question 4490 users left the game. But after third question things become more interesting, because 4743 users or more used “Extra life”. Now we can calculate all positive numbers and we will find out that in total for that game 10,492 users used “Extra life”.

In HQ Trivia it’s possible to earn extra life by inviting your friend and by playing 4 games in a row. Let’s assume that 50% of that 10,492 number actually bought the “Extra life”. The price for one life varies from $3.99 to $9.99/3 = $3.33 depending on amount of lives you are buying. Let’s assume average price is $3.5.

Finally, we can see that roughly 10,492*$3.5 *50% = $18,361 users spent on “Extra live” feature. That’s during single 20 minutes game.

Let’s move forward, there are more interesting games 🙂

Here is Dwayne Johnson Super Game, prize is $300K. I doubt that HQ Trivia pays the prize themselves, best guess would be a company behind the new Dwayne movie is the real sponsor. And here are the numbers:

HQ Trivia business model, how much $$$ do they get? 2

Very interesting number, 108,719 “Extra live” feature used 🙂

108,719*$3.5*50% = $190K roughly earned.

And at last, very interesting game in a concern of numbers, January 8, 2019, prize $2500

HQ Trivia business model, how much $$$ do they get? 3

I don’t know why this game was so popular for “Extra live” feature, but 229,115 were used. And if roughly recalculate to revenue it is 229,115 * $3.5 * 50% = $400,951 for single 20 minutes game.


Youtube charges cost per view from $0.10 to $0.30. Let’s assume HQ Trivia charges somewhere in the middle $0.20. Dwayne Johnson game saw 2.2 mln users: 2200000*$0.2 = $440K. So if company behind the Dwayne Johnson paid $300K for prize, probably they added $140K on top of to the HQ Trivia as well.

HQ Trivia runs the celebrities shows one or two time a month.

User base and company valuation

This part is also very important! In February 2018 HQ Trivia were valued at $100 mln and in Summer 2018 amount of game downloads reached 12 millions. Let’s assume in February it was around 7 mln users, meaning valuation per user is $14.

These are not exact numbers available, regarding user base by the end of 2018, but let’s assume it is 15 mln users. Valuation might be $210 mln.

I hope this information is helpful. If you decide to develop game similar to HQ Trivia and increase your average revenue per user, we’ve already created barebone system and ready to deliver it.

Don’t hesitate to message me on sz@trembit.com

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