Long gone are the days of developing and publishing a game without the need to tweak, adjust and support it years after launch.
Here at PocketGamer.biz, we want to take the opportunity to highlight games that have bucked the trend and found an audience that has kept them thriving long after launch.
That leads us to our regular Live and Kicking series.
This week, we spoke with Etermax chief product officer Mariano Fragulia eight years on since the launch of Trivia Crack about how user-generated content and keeping in touch with your audience are keys to success.
PocketGamer.biz: With Trivia Crack now approaching eight years old, how do you reflect on its performance - from launch to the mature title it is now?
Mariano Fragulia: Trivia Crack is the most successful brand of Etermax’s gaming division. It is available in more than 180 countries and has been localised in up to 34 languages.
It is multiplatform, on and off-line, including Android, iOS, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple Watch, Twitch, and Consumer Products (such as board games and merchandising).
Through these almost eight years the transformation of Trivia Crack has been outstanding. Based on a very simple yet entertaining game loop and our question database that exceeds 50 million questions, we’ve been able to build an app that mimics a theme park based on trivia.
Keeping in touch with what your audience has to say is crucial for the sustained success of any gameMariano Fragulia
Also, in Trivia Crack the user-generated content is key for us because they can contribute to the game through the Questions Factory, a collaborative model, by suggesting and rating new questions. This means that our contents are always current. So much so that during 2021 the most played topic was Series.
If you wanted to read all of the questions that are currently in our Question Factory, it would take you at least six months, without blinking. They can fill 15,000 books!
How big is the team currently handling live ops on Trivia Crack?
Currently, we have more than 80 people involved in the continuous development of new content, events, and gameplays to keep our audience entertained.
How important do you consider customer support and updates to be? What has been your approach to this?
Keeping in touch with what your audience has to say is crucial for the sustained success of any game. We engage regularly with our audience through our different support channels, social media, and even with surveys, interviews, focus groups, and informal conversations.
Our players are full of wonderful ideas and listening to them is very important to us.
What steps have you taken to ensure that Trivia Crack maintains a sizeable and active player base all this time after its launch?
The experimentation is in etermax’s DNA, so our approach is trying to build new things as fast as we can and test them with real users from our audience. We are very strict when deciding whether new gameplay gets to stay in our game so we take account of qualitative and quantitative data.
To what do you attribute the game’s consistently impressive grossing performance, and how do you sustain it?
In these eight years, we have been polishing the ways we deliver content to our userbase. To keep trivia fun, questions need to be relatable, relevant, and entertaining.
You want your questions to be challenging but not overwhelmingly difficult. I think that balance is a great ingredient when you are looking to build long-term relationships with your audience.
What lessons have you learned/are you still learning from Trivia Crack? Is there anything about the game that, in hindsight, you'd now handle differently?
As we stated before, experimentation is in our DNA, so if you are on that path you have to understand that you are going to be wrong a lot. But, for us that’s actually a good thing.
There is always something new to learn and to improveMariano Fragulia
Every single failure we have come across has helped us build knowledge and eventually come up with features that our players love and make our game even more successful. There is always something new to learn and to improve.
What had you learned from previous titles, such as Word Crack, that influenced the approach to Trivia Crack?
Two years after launching Word Crack, we introduced Trivia Crack. From which we take several points such as the importance of generating a game that creates community (in both you can chat with the opponent), enhances the knowledge and mental agility of users through word games.
Finally, how has your experience with Trivia Crack informed where you are/what you're working on now?
We are working on expanding our intellectual property with new games and new ways of playing. In addition, we are always at the forefront!
We develop and bring our games to new and innovative platforms. You can access it from various platforms: Twitch, Apple Watch, voice devices, desktop computers, and even board games.