By: Michelle Ison
HQ Trivia was once one of the most promising and exciting apps you could find on your iOS or Android device. No, we’re not talking years and years ago. Flashback a mere 2 years and the trivia-centric app saw over 2 million concurrent players in their nightly games.
Alas, that fairytale became little more than a cautionary tale with behind-the-scene drama and political intrigue playing its part in the eventual demise of the app.
A few days ago, the CEO of HQ, Rus Yusupov, announced that HQ was shutting down and all 25 employees were being let go due to lack of funds and a last-minute acquisition falling through.
“With HQ we showed the world the future of TV,” Yusupov tweeted out. “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.”
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
Players with money in the game were left without the ability to cash out and no clear plans for 9pm every night.
It was a sad ending for the app that broke new ground in the world of live-entertainment mobile experiences. Then, something interesting happened. After a couple of days of silence, Yusupov tweeted out the possibility of a resurrection.
“On Friday I announced that @hqtrivia was shutting down after a failed acquisition,” the hopeful tweet read. “Well it was a busy weekend, and HQ WILL LIVE ON.”
1/ On Friday I announced that @hqtrivia was shutting down after a failed acquisition. Well it was a busy weekend, and HQ WILL LIVE ON. More below
— Rus (@rus) February 18, 2020
The CEO went on to “detail” how he spent the weekend trying to wrangle a new buyer and was successful in finding a new home for everyone’s former favorite trivia app. Promises of severance pay for employees and the ability to cash out for players were also mentioned in the series of tweets.
It looks like it’s not a done deal yet, but he seems hopeful. We don’t know what this means for the hosts and other employees who made HQ what it was. We don’t even know if the app will look anything like the HQ we’ve come to know over these past couple of years.
We’ll have to wait and see. I just hope I can cash out the $4.38 I earned by winning multiple games since 2018. That was hard-won and I feel safer with that kind of financial cushion to fall back on.