Q&A with Etermax CEO Maximo Cavazzani, Creator of “Trivia Crack” and “Trivia Crack Kingdoms”
One of our most popular integrations this year at iHeartRadio has been with Trivia Crack — and then, in October, Trivia Crack Kingdoms. To celebrate, we sat down with Maximo Cavazzani, the CEO of Etermax and the creator of both games to chat game development, cultural influence, and (of course) music.
1. How did Etermax start?
When I was in college in Buenos Aires, I started a financial app with some friends and we eventually sold it to Ameritrade. With that money I started Etermax in 2009 to focus on other financial applications. But two years later we decided to start developing game apps because those were the most interesting to me and where I thought we could have a real global impact.
My father has a textile business and when we started Etermax we used the spare office space inside the warehouse. As Etermax has grown, we’ve taken up more and more room, but we’re still here working in this big warehouse in a quiet neighborhood in Buenos Aires. It’s definitely a unique space for a technology company to operate, but it is a part of our fabric, our identity.
2. Why do you think Trivia Crack has been such a phenomenon around the world?
Our games allow people to bring out the best in themselves; to share their knowledge while also challenging themselves. Trivia Crack and Trivia Crack Kingdoms push players to educate themselves — and they’re really fun! Plus, I think we have really attractive graphics and a gameplay that makes the whole Trivia Crack experience appealing to people of all ages and across all cultural divides. Trivia Crack is available in more than a dozen languages and is played literally in every corner of the planet. It is truly a global brand.
3. Your company is based in Argentina with a strong presence throughout Latin America. What sets Latino game developers apart from those in other regions?
As Latin Americans, we embrace multiculturalism. We understand the value of the mixture of different cultures, but more importantly, we understand that products must take that into account to captivate different markets with a single product.
Argentina is a very special place. It’s Latin America, but it’s a land of European immigrants who came here to dream big. There’s a high level of education and a lot of talent, especially in terms of creativity. The key to success for us is to structure and to give a path to all that creativity to create something important and lasting. I feel we’ve done that with Trivia Crack.
4. Trivia Crack Kingdoms features questions created by players themselves, as well as companies like iHeartRadio, and NGOs like Greenpeace. What was the idea behind incorporating questions from these groups into the gameplay?
Trivia Crack Kingdoms can be explained as the YouTube of trivia. It has many of the features of the original Trivia Crack, such as playing against friends while answering questions, but users now play inside “channels”. These channels represent topics, nonprofit organizations, companies, brands, or in the future, themes or content we have yet to even conceive. The app is literally intended for everyone.
The idea is that it is a tool meant to distribute content in the form of questions. It doesn’t matter if your content is music-related or a message to save the world. We think that with this method information becomes much more relevant to the user, so the “message” is spread in a much better way.
As a user, you also get diversity. You don’t want to answer questions about the same subject over and over. With this new game, there is much more variety.
5. What types of questions have been the most popular on the iHeartRadio channel?
The most popular questions are the “Who Sings:” type questions. Some popular questions are: “What actor/singer sings ‘Sexy Back’ and won an Emmy Award for hosting SNL?”; “What singer is known for singing ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and ‘Set Fire to the Rain’?”; ‘Who sings the song ‘Thunderstruck’?”
6. Who are your favorite artists or bands to listen to while at work?
I like the classics for work: The Beatles, Queen, and Michael Jackson. I also listen a lot to Argentine rocks bands like Soda Stereo.
7. From your perspective, why do music and gaming go so well together?
When we play games we are looking for something of an escape. Music provides the same thing. A new way to look at — or listen to — the world. And music is something that so many people around the world are passionate about, which is why have seen so many music-related questions on Trivia Crack Kingdoms. People really love to test their knowledge about music and their favorite bands, singers and songs, so I’m sure we’ll continue to see more music related channels, like iHeartRadio’s, as the game grows.
Click here to download Trivia Crack Kingdoms from the Google Play app store.