Trivial Pursuit Online
Internet Trivial Pursuit Games Online
Trivial Pursuit Online Game
In September of 2003, as the board game version of Trivial Pursuit just came out in the new Genus VI edition, the first online version of the game appeared courtesy of Bolenka Games Online. The game was officially licensed by the entities that (at the time) owned the trademark for Trivial Pursuit, so unlike the recent kerfuffle over online versions of Scrabble for Facebook, people who like to play Trivial Pursuit online (free or not) don't have to worry about having their Trivial Pursuit fix taken away.
Press releases about the game from its launch indicate that the makers of Trivial Pursuit Online were very concerned about the game's ability to exist in an online format--said Larry Schwartz, CEO of Bolenka Games: "The social aspect of a Trivial Pursuit board game is very important, and we have strived to continue that online." After all, Trivial Pursuit is a straightforward trivia game without your buddies sitting around a table together. So it was important that it be an online Trivial Pursuit multiplayer game.
The idea behind TrivialPursuit.com was to build a massive Trivial Pursuit game - online community, a place where Trivial Pursuit fanatics could find each other, host and play Trivial Pursuit games, and even chat and bicker online similar to the way people do around a real-world board game. This kind of back-and-forth is a big part of why Trivial Pursuit was such a successful board game, one of the most popular games of the last 30 years.
When the site launched, there were free "trial" versions of Trivial Pursuit you could play but access to the more intricate games required a subscription and a fee. Outside of Trivial Pursuit games, TrivialPursuit.com hosted "entertainment" related to trivia and Trivial Pursuit, a news section about new versions of the classic Trivial Pursuit board games, different online multi-player games for head-to-head play, and even Trivial Pursuit tournaments for cash prizes. It was a great idea--one that didn't last long.
What Happened to TrivialPursuit.com?
Unfortunately for fans, pointing your browser to TrivialPursuit.com now takes you to Hasbro's Trivial Pursuit page--you can buy all sorts of Trivial Pursuit editions, click links to Trivial Pursuit's fan page on Facebook, and read about other versions of the game and a few pieces of news, but the company no longer offers their online multiplayer Trivial Pursuit game. And you can't play Trivial Pursuit free online there.
Part of the problem was that a "pay to play" system just doesn't work online. You're never going to make enough money using a fee system to support an online game community. To get access to the best stuff at TrivialPursuit.com you had to join something called the Premium Player's Club for an annual fee of $29.95 or a monthly fee of $7.95.
What did you get for $30 a year?
The ability to play full-length online multi-player versions of classic Trivial Pursuit, Silver Screen Edition and the Music board game edition, multi-player editions for 1970's, 1980's, Baseball, and TV, Trivial Pursuit tournaments for cash prizes, discounts on Trivial Pursuit games and other Hasbro merchandise, and contests that rewarded Trivial Pursuit board games and other prizes.
What went wrong? Besides the obvious--not enough people are going to pay for the Premium Player's Club--the fee structure was all screwed up. A monthly fee of $7.95 is just too high to pull in people who want to test the waters before they join. If people could have signed up for a month's access for just a couple of bucks, enough people may have been interested to sign up for the really decent annual discount price of just under $30.
The bigger problem with a "pay to play" system is that the model doesn't really work. Sites like Netflix that have been successful charging fees provide a whole lot of content for not much more money than $30 a year. Expecting people to pay a monthly or annual fee just to play one series of board games is outrageous. But that lesson wasn't as obvious back in 2003 as it is now.
Where to Play Online Trivial Pursuit
You can still get a decent Trivial Pursuit fix online. Hasbro has abandoned the Trivial Pursuit Online game, but free online Trivial Pursuit games are available a few other places. The big reason that Trivial Pursuit Online failed was that their business model was wrong.
Trivial Pursuit Online should been similar to Pogo.com, a gaming site that provides tons of different games without the necessity of signing up for a monthly or annual subscription. If you want to pay to be a member at Pogo.com you can, and you get certain benefits from joining with a subscription, but the site makes most of their money not from subscriptions but advertising. That's the truly successful website model--supporting your site with ads.
Pogo.com just happens to be one of the best places to play a Trivial Pursuit online game. No, they don't have the classic board game version, but their two versions of (play for free) Trivial Pursuit are a good enough Trivial Pursuit dose to satisfy your average addict.
Pogo.com has two Trivial Pursuit games: Trivial Pursuit Turbo and Trivial Pursuit Daily 20. Trivial Pursuit Turbo is a cash game, meaning you can sign up to be a member at Pogo.com and win cash prizes just for playing. Trivial Pursuit Daily 20 is a jackpot game, which means you play for free but can win "spins" on a prize wheel. Prizes are anything from cold hard cash to free pay-to-play game time.
Trivial Pursuit Turbo is basically the Genus edition of Trivial Pursuit without the game board. In this Trivial Pursuit online multiplayer game, You're competing against other players in a trivia competition with questions drawn from the actual Trivia Pursuit board game.
Trivial Pursuit Daily 20 is an ongoing Trivial Pursuit game online where players have a chance to earn a peg every day in an attempt to get a full token by the end of the week for bonuses and other prizes. These questions are drawn from many different editions of Trivial Pursuit.
If you want to play Trivial Pursuit online free, you should know that the original Trivial Pursuit Online game no longer exists--TrivialPursuit.com offered a few different versions of the game as well as contests and chat with other Trivial Pursuit fans, but the site's model failed because not enough people were willing to pay for the pretty basic online version they offered. If you want to get an online fix, check out Pogo.com's Trivial Pursuit offerings instead.