Out of questions: HQ pulls the plug on its trivia app

(Image credit: HQ)

Like one of its players who kept guessing the wrong answers, HQ Trivia has run out of extra lives.

The trivia app, which enjoyed a burst of popularity in 2018 with its live daily trivia contests and cash prizes, is shutting down, according to CNN Business. In a letter to employees obtained by CNN Business, CEO Rus Yusupov said that HQ's investors no longer wanted to fund the company and that an effort to find a buyer fell through.

HQ's closure puts 25 people out of work and means an end to the daily trivia contests in which thousands of players competed for a share of a cash prize. When you correctly answered all 12 questions in a typical HQ Trivia game, you split the prize money with all the other remaining players. Usually, that translated to a couple of bucks — often less — but there was a certain thrill to being one of the last contestants standing at the end of the 20-minute games.

HQ looked to keep things fresh by adding other contests, including a sports-themed spinoff and an HQ Words game which resembled an online version of Hangman. In December, HQ rolled out a new game called HQX that featured picture challenges.

The trouble was, players who had regularly fired up HQ during its 2018 heyday gradually moved on. I played the game pretty regularly myself for about a year, winning enough cash prizes to pay for a modestly priced bottle of bourbon. But like other players, I lost interest in my HQ habit, due to a combination of factors — the game's notorious glitchiness, an ill-fated attempt to downplay cash prizes in favor of points and just the natural evolution of a fad losing its luster over time.

HQ's Twitter account had yet to acknowledge the shutdown as of this writing, but push notifications to current players seemed to confirm CNN's report.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.