HQ Trivia, the app you probably feverishly downloaded several years ago and had entirely forgotten existed in the weeks and months since, is no more. The company is shutting down and “will part ways with 25 full-time employees,” CNN Business reports. (The company laid off a number of staffers in 2019.) It turns out that sweet Peter Thiel funding just wasn’t enough to keep the thing afloat. Which means if you never cashed out your winnings … too bad.
In case you’ve forgotten, because we’ve all aged a thousand years in the last three, HQ launched in 2017. It quickly became the darling of the app world, thanks largely to its truly ridiculous and also delightful host, Scott Rogowsky and its, let’s say, dramatic, leadership. HQ founder Rus Yusupov once threatened to fire Rogowsky after he made such wild comments to a journalist like, “I can make people happy and give them the trivia they so desperately love and want. It’s been so great to build this community.” Somebody even sold Rogowsky’s old mattress on Craigslist, using him as a selling point. HQ was fun! It was a thing! One time I spoke with a man who won $1,500 in a single game. Another time we tracked people trying to cheat the game by using Google! Here’s a silly video of a woman truly losing her shit over winning a game!
The app was also plagued by a number of public obstacles. HQ co-founder Colin Kroll died of a suspected drug over dose in December 2018. He was 34, and, in addition to creating the trivia app, was best known for founding the beloved short-form-video app Vine. In April 2019, Rogowsky left the company to work for streaming baseball show ChangeUp. He’d reportedly clashed with Yusupov over wanting to host both shows. After that, an internal attempt to ouster Yusupov from the CEO seat failed.
HQ … we will miss you. That’s a lie, you can’t miss something you forgot existed. But, still, one time I won $58 and for that I say thanks!