Not that long ago, HQ and its hit live mobile trivia game, HQ Trivia, were on top of the world, but this was short lived. Within a year, the game's prominence and popularity began to sharply decline, and the company was swallowed up by turmoil, which included the death of its co-founder Colin Kroll in 2018. The writing has been on the wall for the company for awhile, and today CNN Business has relayed that the company is finally shutting down, leaving 25 full-time employees out of work.
According to information obtained by CNN, CEO of the company, Rus Yusupov, revealed in a company-wide email that "lead investors are no longer willing to fund the company, and so effective today, HQ will cease operations and move to dissolution."
The email further reveals that Yusupov recently brought in a banker "to help find additional investors and partners to support the expansion of the company." And at one point, the company had an offer on the table from "an established business," but this potential acquisition fell through out the last second for undisclosed reasons.
For those that don't know: HQ was an app and mobile game show that debuted back in 2017 on both iOS and Android devices. The company was developed by Vine creators Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, and rose to prominence with HQ Trivia, which at one point, was one of the biggest mobile apps in the world, attracting sponsors like Nike, Warner Bros., and Wendy's.
As you would expect, reactions to the report are starting to flood social media as many recall their time with the game, while others are skeptical about the circumstances.
Wow. Through HQ I’ve met dozens of great people— and won $125 along the way. I knew it was just a matter of time but I wasn’t expecting it to happen so suddenly. 😞— Christian (@heychristian) February 14, 2020
I have strong suspicions there is more to this story. Doesn’t add up.— Francine McKenna (@retheauditors) February 14, 2020
Wow. Just wow. Heartbreaking. The end of the first big trivia app.— eddyzow (Awaiting Draft) (@eddyzow) February 14, 2020
This broke my heart a little. It was a great, innovative, daring app in an era of cookie cutter knockoffs. But maintaining that blazing success it had for a month wasn’t possible.— Tero Kuittinen (@teroterotero) February 14, 2020