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HQ Trivia Lands Warner Bros.’ ‘Ready Player One’ as Sponsor for $250,000 Cash-Prize Pool

Viral game-show app HQ Trivia has inked its first major sponsorship deals, including with Warner Bros. to promote the upcoming release of Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One.”

WB’s deal with HQ Trivia, as first reported by AdAge, is worth $3 million and will cover three movies, starting with “Ready Player One.” The dystopian sci-fi thriller is set to hit theaters March 29.

Players for the game sponsored by “Ready Player One” will be vying for a $250,000 prize pool — the biggest to date for HQ Trivia. Previously, the app’s biggest prize pot was $50,000 (won by six players, who split the total evenly) on March 4, the night of the Academy Awards.

One of the other two Warner Bros. releases expected to be featured in HQ Trivia is Dwayne Johnson-starrer “Rampage,” which is now set to open April 13.

The “Ready Player One” Twitter account on Sunday night invited fans to participate in playing HQ Trivia on March 28, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, with a video styled as a movie trailer. The movie has a neat tie-in with HQ Trivia: In “Ready Player One,” users compete in a virtual-reality world to unlock clues — and inherit the massive fortune of game’s late creator.

In addition, HQ Trivia has a deal with Nike, which is sponsoring a game on Monday, March 26, to promote its Air Max line of sneakers.

The deals come after the parent company of HQ Trivia, Intermedia Labs, announced the closing of $15 million in funding from venture-capital firm Founders Fund, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, which previously invested seed money in the startup.

Since launching last August, HQ Trivia now attracts more than 1 million live viewers daily who compete in the 12-question elimination-format competitions. The app’s popularity has turned Scott Rogowsky, the New York stand-up comedian who’s the regular host of the HQ Trivia games, into an internet celeb.

New York-based Intermedia Labs was founded by Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, two of the founders of Vine, the six-second video app acquired by Twitter — which then shut it down four years later. Yusupov previously told Variety that HQ Trivia hopes to someday bump up cash-prize pool to $1 million per game. HQ Trivia runs the games weekdays at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET, and on the weekends at 9 p.m. ET.

The HQ Trivia questions are created by a team of writers, researchers and fact-checkers, and the trivia gets harder as the game progresses. Players must answer each multiple-choice question within 10 seconds, which makes it tough to launch a Google search for the correct answers.

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