Chris Haney, a co-creator of the popular Trivial Pursuit board game, has died at the age of 59. Scott Abbott, who created Trivial Pursuit with Haney, said Haney died Monday in a Toronto hospital after a long illness.
It was the board game Time magazine called the “the biggest phenomenon in game history.” Trivial Pursuit was first conceived on December 15, 1979 by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott. At the time, Chris Haney worked as a photo editor at the Montreal Gazette, and Scott Abbott was a sports journalist for The Canadian Press. The two friends came up with the basic concept of Trivial Pursuit within a few short hours. The pair were playing a game of Scrabble when they decided to invent their own game. However, it was not until 1981 that the board game was commercially released.
The first copies of Trivial Pursuit were sold at a loss, the manufacturing costs for the first copies came to seventy-five dollars per game and the game was sold to retailers for fifteen dollars. Trivial Pursuit was licensed to Selchow and Righter a major U.S. game manufacturer and distributor in 1983. The manufacturers financed a successful public relations effort and Trivial Pursuit became a household name.
Haney, who passed away in a Toronto hospital on Monday, is survived by his wife and three children.