HQ Trivia, the internet’s top trivia app, should be riding high. It’s coming off its big Super Bowl halftime show, and it sits at number 11 among free apps in the iTunes store, ahead of the likes of Netflix and Google Maps.
But the app has been at the center of a social media maelstrom the past week organized around the #deleteHQ hashtag, with calls to delete the app in protest of its newfound connection to billionaire investor and tech mogul Peter Thiel.
The news broke last Thursday that the Founders Fund venture firm had invested $15 million in the app, setting its overall value at $100 million. That might not be a problem, if not for the fact the titular founder is Thiel, whose support for everything from President Donald Trump to harvesting the blood of young people had made him Silicon Valley’s most polarizing figure.
How much the Founders Fund investment actually says anything about HQ Trivia or Thiel himself is an open question: As Recode reports, it’s not Thiel but firm partner Cyan Bannister who is the major driver behind the investment. And anyone looking to boycott every Thiel-backed property will be cutting themselves off from the likes of Airbnb, Lyft, Spotify, Facebook, and even SpaceX.
Still, if Thiel’s involvement, however peripheral, has you uneasy about still using the game, there are some alternatives to consider for your livestreamed, cash-prize quiz app needs.
The pitch for Cash Show couldn’t be any simpler: “Win Real Cash!” promises the app in the Apple and Google Play Store. The game goes live twice daily at 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Eastern, with $2,000 on the line in both games.
Another possibility is QuizBiz, which is hosted on the Chinese-based livestreaming platform Live.me. Unlike HQ Trivia, which has made a celebrity of its most beloved host Scott Rogowsky, QuizBiz frequently features surprise guest hosts who are already famous, like Wyclef Jean during its Grammys game.
The game is available through the Live.me app on both iOS and Android, with the platform putting $1 million into prizes for the month of February, with a goal of $5,000 in daily prizes. The game goes live daily at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern.
Finally, there’s The Q. This one can’t compete with any of the other live trivia games when it comes to cash prizes, with $100 prizes given away twice every weekday and once over the weekend. This game pitches itself more as the low-key alternative to the higher-stakes games like HQ Trivia, with regular host Joseph Monahan frequently wearing casual wear like Hawaiian shirts, distinguishing himself from the nattily attired Rogowsky.
The game also goes live a half-hour after each HQ Trivia game, all the better to make it feel like a fun, breezy comedown after the main event. But if you’re in the market for what is at least for now a Thiel-free trivia experience, it’s as intriguing an option as any out there, though it does appear the ioS version works significantly better than its Android counterpart.