Quizup’s success story isn’t ending anytime soon.
Just a week after launching its popular free trivia app on Android, Plain Vanilla Games announced today that it has gained one million new players and is growing steadily at 100,000 new registrations every day.
Quizup now has more than 12.5 million players on Android and iOS. It’s not growing as fast as Draw Something, which got 50 million downloads in 50 days. But that could be a good sign, as Draw Something quickly fizzled out as users moved on to the next hot app. Altogether, mobile games will reportedly drive the entire gaming industry towards $100 billion in revenues by 2017.
Thor Fridriksson, Plain Vanilla’s founder and CEO, isn’t surprised by the numbers. In an interview with VentureBeat, he noted that there was a huge amount of demand for an Android version of Quizup.
“We’ve really been losing out by not having [Quizup] on Android; we lost out on maybe 60-70 percent of the virality,” Fridriksson said.
Most startups typically choose to launch on iOS before they even think about Android, and Quizup was no exception. But it also ended up being a rare viral success, and the only way to keep that going is by getting it in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
“I would have preferred that we launched it quicker [on Android], preferably we would have launched simultaneously,” Fridriksson said.
But like most young startups, the company didn’t have the resources to make that happen early on. A $22 million round in December likely helped Plain Vanilla ramp up the Android version of Quizup.
With the Android app done, Fridriksson can now focus on other aspects of Quizup. New features are coming soon that it will deploy on the iOS and Android apps simultaneously. And while the company has some microtransactions in the app, it’s not pushing them heavily yet (though that may end up changing over time).
Instead of looking toward other mobile platforms, Plain Vanilla is now focused on bringing the app to new markets.
“Trivia is very language dependent; we’re only really seeing good traction in the U.S. and the U.K.,” Fridriksson said. At the moment, Plain Vanilla is focused on major languages like Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. It’s not just about translation, though — the company also needs to create content that’s localized for specific countries and cultures. Plain Vanilla is setting up small offices across the world to help speed up this process.
Looking ahead, Fridriksson tells me he’s focused on developing content partnerships that will let the company earn money without relying on ads. It’s not hard to imagine future Quizup topics about upcoming movies and TV shows.
“We’re trying to find a way to monetize without at any point damaging the experience,” he said. “It’s a cliche, but I think that our platform is very well suited for partnerships.”
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