HQ Trivia is no more.
CNN Business reports the once-popular game show app officially ceased operations Friday, about three years after its inception. The outlet obtained a company-wide memo from CEO Rus Yusupov, who confirmed the terminations of 25 full-time staffers. The executive explained HQ’s lead investors were no longer willing to back the company, and that a potential acquisition had fallen through.
“Effective today, HQ will cease operations and move to dissolution. All employees and contractors will be terminated as of today,” Yusupov wrote in the memo. “I want to thank everyone for their hard work and resilience through the good times and bad, in helping to build an innovative and category defining product. This is one of the hardest things to do in my life, and I’m really sorry for any disruption this may cause you and our players.”
HQ CEO Rus Yusupov just sent a note to staffers (25 full-time employees): "This is one of the hardest things to do in my life, and I'm really sorry for any disruption this may cause you and our players." https://t.co/xmVWdVIFv7 pic.twitter.com/MOWfs434m1
— Kerry Flynn 🐶 (@kerrymflynn) February 14, 2020
With HQ we showed the world the future of TV. We didn’t get to where we hoped but we did stretch the world’s imagination for what’s possible on our smartphones. Thanks to everyone who helped build this and thanks for playing.
— Rus (@rus) February 14, 2020
Developed by Yuzupov and Colin Kroll, HQ became a viral sensation shortly after its 2017 launch. At its peak, the trivia game show attracted nearly three million players per livestream, offering users the chance to real money that would be transferred to their PayPal. However, the novelty of HQ began to wear off, thanks in large part to the influx of cheating bots that took out all the fun.
Tragedy also struck the company in December 2018, when Kroll—who also created the now-defunct Vine alongside Yuzupov—died from a suspected overdose. He was 35 years old.
About four months after Kroll’s death, HQ’s original host Scott Rogowsky, a.k.a. Quiz Daddy, left the company for the sports streaming network DAZN. He was replaced by Matt Richards, who hosted the show up until the HQ’s closure.
Richards reflected on his time at HQ in Friday night tweet.
I love you all more than I have words to express. @hqtrivia changed my life. To the team, it was an honor and privilege working with all of you. TO THE FANS 🔥🔥We couldn’t have done any of it without you, thank you so much for rocking with me. #forthechildren pic.twitter.com/nzfRKHWBW5
— Matt Richards (@mattwasfunny) February 14, 2020
You can check out other reactions to the news below.
Today is a sad day. @hqtrivia, a game I've been playing for almost 2 years, is shutting down today. Throughout my history with the show, I've been able to meet many, many wonderful people and have won a bit of cash in the process.
— Christian (@heychristian) February 14, 2020
So… @hqtrivia has officially ended. Nothing explained on their Twitter – except “goodbye” messages from the hosts on their respective Twitter accounts, and a push notification. Such a sad day for us all. Way to boost my mood at work 🙁 pic.twitter.com/voGhB2hDAr
— Edward Vickers (@edwardgvickers) February 15, 2020
— Meaghan La Plante (@MegsLP1984) February 15, 2020
— ➰ oɴe ιɴ α мιllιoɴ ✌🏼 (@ILove_MusicTW) February 14, 2020
The first time I won HQ, and won $10, it was so exciting. After that, when I'd win $0.10…still exciting. Yall had a good run…now how else can I get my trivia thrills 😭 https://t.co/dreQkOtuRf
— Jessica (@savestheday91) February 15, 2020
As 8:59 turned to 9:00 then turned to 9:01, the silence of @hqtrivia has spoken loudly. Forever to thee, HQ, forever to thee
— HQ Fan Central (@WordsHQ) February 15, 2020
HQ Trivia is shutting down, and I can only say five words…
— Scott Rogowsky Fan (@rogowskyfan) February 14, 2020
— kelly caitlin (@kellycaitlin) February 14, 2020