HQ Trivia Has Returned to Ease Your Quarantined Soul - Comic Years
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HQ Trivia Has Returned to Ease Your Quarantined Soul

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BY March 31, 2020

After a tumultuous rise and a sudden fall, the mobile gaming app HQ Trivia has returned. Here’s everything we know so far.

Things Have Long Been Rocky Behind the Scenes

HQ Trivia Has Returned image via HQ Trivia

In the summer of 2017, Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov, who co-created Vine, launched HQ Trivia. Unlike other trivia games that had come and gone–Trivia Crack, anyone?–HQ Trivia not only pitted you against friends and strangers, but it also turned every game into a live show. By the fall of 2017, it wasn’t unusual to see over a hundred thousand people logging on for a nightly game. One of the biggest attractions for players, besides the chance to win actual cash, was host Scott Rogowsky. Fans dubbed him “Quiz Daddy,” and they openly complained about substitute hosts.

Naturally, press attention came calling and so The Daily Beast asked Rogowsky for an interview, which he granted. However, when the website reached out to Yusupov for additional comment, the founder reacted…let’s just say “strangely.” During a “combative” conversation with writer Taylor Lorenz, Yusupov demanded approval of the story before it ran, for example, in addition to implying that Rogowsky might be fired. It was not a good look, especially for prospective VCs.

Although Kroll never garnered the same kind of press, reports of his behavior at Vine and at Twitter also reportedly turned off potential investors. That was a rather big problem for the start-up, which always had funding issues. (Note: Kroll had a fatal overdose in December 2018.)

Mutiny Leads to Shutdown

In April 2019, an attempt to overthrow Yusupov failed. However, it did succeed in ousting one important player–Rogowsky, who left the app to join sports streamer DAZN. Apparently, Rogowsky had wanted to work both jobs, but Yusupov wouldn’t allow it.

At the same time, HQ was burning through money–about a million per month, by some estimates–and still had issues finding investors. The game’s popularity was also waning, as failure to innovate translated to boredom for players. By February of this year, Yusupov informed employees that “lead investors are no longer willing to fund the company.” The app then shut down. Rogowsky, now freed from Yusupov’s employment, had some very spicy takes.

HQ Trivia Has Returned

HQ Trivia Has Returned image via HQ Trivia

Last night, though, players who hadn’t deleted the app received a push notification about a new game. Yusupov confirmed on Twitter that it was legit–HQ Trivia has returned. Former host, comedian (and my friend) Matt Richards returned as well.

While the scheduling of future games is uncertain, they do intend to have more future games. A new investor has acquired the company with plans to bring the app back for good. So rejoice, I guess, trivia nerds.

Did HQ’s absence make your heart grow fonder? Tell us the answers below or on the socials.

featured image via HQ Trivia

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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at salome@comicyears.com.

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