What Happened to Quizup?

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Written By Angelo Sorbello

Tech entrepreneur and passionate about business

 

 

In the realm of trivia games, QuizUp reigned as a promising titan before its untimely demise. Once celebrated as the largest trivia game worldwide, QuizUp captivated millions of users with its engaging platform.

However, behind the scenes, QuizUp struggled to convert its staggering user base into sustainable revenue. This article aims to dissect the factors that led to QuizUp's downfall and explore the lessons it imparts to the gaming industry.

Join us as we delve into the rise and fall of QuizUp, a cautionary tale of missed opportunities and unmet potential.

Key Takeaways

  • QuizUp struggled to generate revenue despite having a large user base of 70 million.
  • The failed TV deal with NBC and the subsequent shutdown of Plain Vanilla Games contributed to QuizUp's downfall.
  • Glu Mobile's acquisition of QuizUp did not result in significant improvements or effective monetization.
  • QuizUp was eventually shut down in early 2021 after years of being in maintenance mode.

Monetization Challenges

Despite having a user base of 70 million, QuizUp faced significant monetization challenges. The company struggled to generate revenue and was bootstrapped for many years.

One strategy for monetizing mobile games was to offer users the option to pay for more attempts, thereby driving revenue. Additionally, QuizUp launched a corporate version of the game in 2015, targeting businesses as potential paying customers. A web-based version was also introduced, allowing players to write their own questions.

However, despite these efforts, QuizUp's revenue struggles persisted. The company's failed television deal with NBC in 2016 further hindered its monetization efforts. The cancellation of the TV show and subsequent shutdown of Plain Vanilla Games, the company behind QuizUp, highlighted the difficulty in generating revenue.

Ultimately, Glu Mobile's acquisition of QuizUp and its subsequent shutdown in early 2021 reflected the developers' inability to effectively monetize the game.

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Failed Television Partnership

The failed television partnership with NBC hindered QuizUp's efforts to monetize the game effectively.

In 2016, QuizUp signed a deal with NBC Television to create a 10-episode TV show based on the game. The partnership aimed to increase user numbers and sustainability.

However, before the show could even air, waning interest led to its cancellation. As a result, NBC sold the rights to the show to British broadcaster ITV.

This failed television deal was a significant setback for QuizUp, as it had hoped that the TV show would attract more users and provide additional revenue streams.

Unfortunately, the partnership did not achieve its intended goals, and QuizUp's struggle to monetize the game effectively continued.

Plain Vanilla Games Shutdown

Announcing its shutdown in August 2016, Plain Vanilla Games terminated all 36 employees due to the high cost of maintaining a large user base and the failed TV deal.

Despite an increase in revenue, the company struggled with the difficulty of generating revenue and sustaining its user base. QuizUp's monetization efforts, such as allowing users to pay for more attempts and launching a corporate version of the game, were not enough to overcome these challenges.

The failed television partnership with NBC further added to the company's woes, as the cancellation of the planned TV show resulted in a loss of potential users and sustainability.

Plain Vanilla Games acknowledged the difficulty in revenue generation, leading to the decision to shut down the company.

Glu Mobile Acquisition and Shutdown

Glu Mobile acquired QuizUp for $7.5 million in December 2016, leading to its eventual shutdown in early 2021. Under Glu Mobile's management strategy, the game was run in maintenance mode for almost five years, lacking significant improvements. Despite QuizUp's initial success, developers failed to effectively monetize the game, resulting in ongoing revenue struggles. This, combined with a lack of game improvements, ultimately led to its demise.

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Glu Mobile's acquisition of QuizUp was intended to breathe new life into the game and generate sustainable revenue. However, the game continued to stagnate, failing to attract new users or engage existing ones. As a result, Glu Mobile made the decision to shut down QuizUp in early 2021.

Timeline of Quizup's Journey

After Glu Mobile's acquisition of QuizUp in December 2016, the game's journey continued, ultimately leading to its shutdown in early 2021. Here is a timeline of QuizUp's growth and demise:

Year Milestone
2013 QuizUp is launched, gaining 20 million users and 1 billion matches within six months.
2015 A corporate version of the game is launched, allowing companies to use QuizUp for training and team-building purposes.
2016 QuizUp signs a deal with NBC Television for a TV show based on the game, but the show is canceled before airing due to waning interest.
2016 Plain Vanilla Games, the company behind QuizUp, shuts down, citing the canceled TV deal and difficulty in revenue generation.
2016 Glu Mobile acquires QuizUp for $7.5 million and runs the game in maintenance mode for almost five years without significant improvements.

| 2021 | QuizUp is shut down due to the developers' failure to effectively monetize the game.

Despite its initial growth and popularity, QuizUp's demise can be attributed to monetization issues, a failed television deal, and the lack of significant improvements under Glu Mobile's ownership.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Users Did Quizup Have at Its Peak?

At its peak, QuizUp had a user base of 70 million. Several factors, including monetization issues and a failed television deal, contributed to its cancellation. The game struggled to generate revenue effectively.

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What Were the Reasons Behind the Cancellation of the TV Show Based on Quizup?

The cancellation of the TV show based on QuizUp was due to waning interest and a lack of sustainability. This decision had a significant impact on fans, leaving them disappointed and without the anticipated extension of their favorite game.

How Did the Shutdown of Plain Vanilla Games Affect Quizup?

The shutdown of Plain Vanilla Games had a significant impact on QuizUp. It resulted in a loss of user engagement and affected the game's revenue model. The company admitted difficulty in generating revenue, leading to its eventual acquisition and shutdown by Glu Mobile.

Did Glu Mobile Make Any Significant Improvements to Quizup After Acquiring It?

Glu Mobile's acquisition of QuizUp did not result in significant improvements to the game. Despite running in maintenance mode for almost five years, developers failed to effectively monetize the game, leading to its eventual shutdown in early 2021.

What Were the Major Milestones in Quizup's Journey From Its Launch to Its Shutdown?

QuizUp's journey from launch to shutdown was marked by milestones such as gaining 20 million users and a failed TV deal with NBC. Challenges in monetization and lack of significant improvements contributed to its ultimate shutdown in early 2021.

Conclusion

In conclusion, QuizUp's downfall can be attributed to its struggles with effective monetization, the cancellation of its television partnership, the shutdown of its parent company Plain Vanilla Games, and the unsuccessful acquisition by Glu Mobile.

These factors highlight the challenges faced by gaming platforms in sustaining user engagement and profitability.

As a case study, the demise of QuizUp serves as a cautionary tale for the gaming industry, emphasizing the importance of strategic planning, adaptability, and understanding the ever-changing interests of the target audience.

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