In 2009, the Xbox 360 hosted a community video game version of 1 Vs. 100, a popular game show that ran from 2006-2008. When that game was in its prime, I spent hours with friends trying to answer countless questions correctly. While we strived to eventually be a part of the mob or even the one, we were content with climbing the leaderboards. My social circle was very upset when the Xbox Live Primetime game was eventually canceled. Even now, I often think about how happy that game made me.
A recent craze on iOS and Android has me wondering if now is the time for a resurgence in the genre. If you use social media, the chances are high that you’ve heard of HQ Trivia. The app has taken the world by storm, offering large cash prizes (ranging from $2,000 and occasionally upwards of $18,000) every day at 3 PM and 9 PM. It’s become such a big event that people often gather with friends and family during these time slots to work together in order to win the cash prize. In my case, some of my co-workers take their lunch break together and try to answer all 12 questions correctly.
While we haven’t won yet, the companionship, teamwork, and social aspects are what really makes the app enjoyable. With a variety of hosts and personalities, HQ trivia is often a spectacle. Even the chat in that game is lively, though slightly toxic. Within the few months that the game has been popular, multiple copycat apps have made their way to the app store. There are The Q and Genius, two apps that feature the same experience but offer smaller cash prizes.
This type of experience has me reminiscing about the great times with 1 vs. 100. I’m wondering to myself; can something like this thrive again on consoles? Microsoft has been making smart consumer choices over the past few years. It’s clear that the company wants Xbox owners to embrace the Xbox Live ecosystem. The best way to do so is to provide an experience that everyone can enjoy and interact with each other. Game shows are highly social events that people either watch together and even live-tweet on Twitter. While 1 Vs. 100 is dead, that doesn’t mean game shows on Xbox Live shouldn’t come back.
Sure, Microsoft might not be willing to drop $4,000 in prize money a day on winners, but there could also be other ways to reward players. From Xbox Game Store credit to free codes for the latest indie games, Microsoft can surely reward players for winning. HQ Trivia works like clockwork for me. Through push notifications, and an alarm on my phone, I’ve started to schedule my day/night around needing to be near my phone when game time comes around. Dedicated fans are willing to do the same. If Microsoft decided to start a new game show for its members, they could send a message out a few minutes before showtime, so that players can gather in a lobby.
This could be a way to revitalize socializing in the household. I recently bought It’s Quiz Time on my Xbox One, and Knowledge Is Power on PlayStation 4. My family has made it a weekly tradition to gather around the living room and play a few rounds each Saturday. Surely, I can see families gather around nightly to play the latest game show on their Xbox. If Xbox Live Members can’t gather with friends, utilizing the party chat is a great way to play with friends. As someone who doesn’t see my friends on a daily basis, party chat has been a Godsend. I look forward to talking to them and playing our favorite games every single night.
Working together to be the winners of a trivia game on Xbox One would be the ultimate bonding session. There are a lot of people who really enjoyed Microsoft’s initial attempt at a Game Show. The company learned a lot about the ecosystem, and with technology being more advanced than it was in 2009, a better game can be created. With this genre being at its peak popularity, now is the time for Microsoft to capitalize on the trend. Xbox had a rough 2017, with the exception of Cuphead, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the Xbox One X, and a few marketing campaigns. Reviving the “Live Game Show” genre can be a good talking point for their 2018.
Despite the lack of first party games, Microsoft wins me over time and time again because of its excellent customer service, fantastic consumer-friendly practices, and stellar online service. We don’t know about many exclusives coming out in 2018, but a social experiment that can unite the Xbox Live Community is definitely a step in the right direction that will paint Microsoft in a better light, and that’s not a bad thing at all.