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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.