Trivia crack is a mobile game developed by Etermax in 2013. Players answer trivia-based questions from various categories which include science, geography, history, entertainment, art and sports.
You can verse your friends through connecting your Facebook account, or play against random opponents. The objective of the game is to collect all 6 category avatars through answering trivia questions before your opponent does.
In order to better understand the game, I have developed an analytical framework consisting of three important points to assist me in drawing a conclusion on the application. These points include monetisation, induction and the audience. So, let’s get stuck into it.
For those who don’t know, monetisation is essentially “the term used to describe turning an object, goods, service or asset into money” (Capital.com). It is a broad term that can have different meanings, but it all relates back to earning an income.
Trivia crack is an application that constantly has ads– you have to watch them after each turn, there’s pop up ones everywhere, and you get the option to watch an ad for an extra turn if you get a question wrong. Like most games and apps, you also have the option to purchase the paid version of the app for an ad free experience.
Video gaming is a billion-dollar global industry which is continuously growing and evolving. An important innovation which has fuelled industry development has been the expansion of digital purchase options, including the emergence of virtual goods, that can be purchased from within the game in small payments termed ‘microtransactions’. These microtransactions enable players to obtain additional game content or premiums (King, 2018).
Essentially, these games push you to spend money through microtransactions, and in games like Trivia Crack, also have a large amount of advertisements to make themselves money.
So, what impact does this have on its players?
Players can become frustrated by seeing so many ads or constantly being asked to spend money, on an app that was free to download in the first place. The forms of monetisation they use can be seen as predatory and invasive, and I know personally through my experience from playing the game, that I find the ads and microtransaction options to be annoying, and I can say that it puts the game at much less value to me, due to the frustration and time wasted through being forced to watch so many ads. A number of reviews have very similar opinions, too.
Induction is the formal act or process of introducing someone to something new, like an organisation, job or in this case, a game.
In regards to looking at induction in relation to Trivia Crack, I asked myself two things:
How does trivia crack gain users? And how does it get them to stick around?
It essentially comes down to marketing, and how the game presents itself. for instance, the user interfaces, pretty icons and drawings. The whole design is very user-friendly and makes the quiz look fun to play with (Wang, 2016). They have created the game and the graphics to appeal to an audience of all ages. Trivia is a fun thing that people of all ages enjoy, but the game is also marketed as an educational tool for children, which helps it spread popularity even more.
As marketed by Trivia Crack themselves, they describe it as “The amazing quiz game that lets you test your knowledge and challenge your friends to see who is the smartest”. They add in the appeal of being able to play with your friends, and see who is the smartest, once again creating a challenge. And everyone likes a good challenge, don’t they?
Now, after you’ve gotten past the initial face level appeal, how does it get its users to stick around and keep playing?
Well, there’s many reasons for this, and they can vary from person to person. This can be connected back to monetisation, by saying that the paid incentives and microtransactions can become addicting, causing players to keep on playing. You could also say that the game is just so good you don’t want to stop playing, among many other reasons.
Through my autoethnographic approach to playing the game, I was able to answer this question for myself. Like many games do to users, I found the game addictive. Versing your friends back and forth, you feel inclined to finish the game- you want to! It’s fun, you feel powerful if you win, and getting questions right makes you feel smart. Yes- they’re only simple trivia questions, but getting them right, or winning the whole game, makes you feel like one very smart cookie.
Last of all, we have the audience. In particular, who are the questions for exactly?
Are the questions based on location? Are there a lot of questions about other countries which are hard to answer? Or too many questions about Australia?
I know that when I played, I would receive way more questions about Australia than I would on any other country. I wouldn’t say I got any hard questions concerning other countries, since I barely got questions about other countries in general.
As most of us realise without thinking about it too much, most online platforms we use know way too much of our personal information. In an article by Time, it explains how Trivia Crack gives you questions based on your location.
When you sign up for Trivia Crack, most users will connect their Facebook account, in order to play against their friends and complete the set up of their user on the game. It’s not Trivia Crack itself that’s to blame, but something called a third-party library. Facebook has a library that makes it easy to access their services. So rather than writing a new code to access, Facebook developers just download the code that’s already been prepared for this purpose. These pieces of code are third-party libraries. “If you linked your Trivia Crack to your Facebook account, then they can get a lot more data about you,” says Hong (Time).
Your location or town of residence is connected to your Facebook account, which is why the Trivia questions, are in fact location based. No wonder I’ve been getting so many questions about Australia…
Monetisation, induction and audience are the three components that make up my analytical framework on Trivia Crack. This analysis will conclude in a more formal sense in my video essay, which will be published in a few weeks time.
- Trivia Crack. 2018. Trivia Crack. [online] Available at: <https://www.triviacrack.com/> [Accessed 18 August 2021].
- Morris, C., 2015. Trivia Crack – App Review. [online] Commonsensemedia.org. Available at: <https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/trivia-crack> [Accessed 18 August 2021].
- Kosoff, M., 2014. I Played The Super Addictive Game Trivia Crack, And Now I Know Why It’s Crushing It In The App Store. [online] Business Insider Australia. Available at: <https://www.businessinsider.com.au/what-is-trivia-crack-2014-12> [Accessed 18 August 2021].
- Pullen, J., 2015. Your Favorite Apps Know More About You Than You Realize. [online] Time. Available at: https://time.com/3857380/apps-security-privacy-trivia-crack/ [Accessed 18th September 2021].
- King, D., 2018. Predatory monetization schemes in video games (e.g. ‘loot boxes’) and internet gaming disorder. [online] Available at: https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1111/add.14286 [Accessed 20th September 2021].
- Wang, Y., 2016. QuizASSIST: Mobile Application for ASSISTments. [online] Available at: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/212988125.pdf [Accessed 20th September 2021].
- Cambridge Dictionary. Induction. [online] Available at: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/induction [Accessed 20th September 2021].
- Haughey, C., 2020. The Secrets to Marketing in the Gaming Industry. [online] Available at: https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/how-gaming-influencers-sway-marketing-in-the-gaming-industry [Accessed 21st September 2021].