Popular live game show HQ Trivia is planning to start running games without cash prizes. As reported by The Verge, HQ Trivia and HQ Words will start hosting select games where users win “points” rather than cash.

The change surprised players yesterday, with many taking to Twitter and Reddit to complain about the lack of a cash prize. The appeal of HQ Trivia from the start has largely been its cash payout, a rather uncommon practice in other iOS trivia games.

Brandon Teitel, HQ’s senior vice president of programming and partnerships, explained to The Verge that cash prizes aren’t going away. In fact, Teitel said that this “season” of HQ will give away more cash than the last season did.

Further, HQ sees the points-based games as another way for users to win HQ Trivia. By getting credit for the questions you get right, points will add up over time and you can redeem them for certain in-app rewards.

Additionally, HQ hopes that giving users points will incentivize them to play every night, as they get a reward even if they don’t make it all the way to the end:

“We look at it as another way to win HQ,” Teitel says. “I think a lot of people traditionally have thought it’s really hard to win HQ, and it is. Not everyone is going to win the game, but getting credit for the questions that you got right feels really good.”

“It’s definitely a loyalty play to incentivize people to come back,” he added.

HQ Trivia has waned in popularity over recent months, leading some to question its financial state. Internal turmoil has also plagued the company since its start. However, a lack of cash prizes in certain games isn’t an indication that HQ is facing financial struggles, the company says. Instead, it’s simply an “experiment.”

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Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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