HQ Trivia app closes down, ends with drunken presenters asking for jobs

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2020
The makers of the high-profile HQ Trivia app have gone bankrupt, and its last live broadcast featured drunk presenters looking for work, while paying the final prize money out of their own pockets.

HQ Trivia offered a daily online game live
HQ Trivia offered a daily online game live


In 2018, HQ Trivia was a popular new app for iOS that was even lauded by Apple and saw huge numbers of players. Two years later, it has closed down for good.

HQ Trivia was played on smartphones and involved a live element where presenters would ask a dozen multiple-choice questions during a 15-minute show. Anyone answering everything correctly would share in the day's prize, which at times could be as much as $300,000.

According to BBC News, it's estimated that in total HQ Trivia gave away $6 million in cash. It was backed by investors and the aim was that company brands could pay to run special editions about their own products. The original investors backed out and a deal to arrange a new buyer appears to have collapsed last week.

On February 14, the company made its 25 employees redundant and ran its final live show.

"Why are we shutting down?" co-presenter Matt Richards asked on air. "I don't know. Ask our investors. What am I going to do with my fish tank? I think our investors ran out of money."

Co-presenter Anna Roisman was more to the point. "Someone hire me! I'm talented," she said.

Richards revealed on air that he'd been drinking before the show, and then during the broadcast brought out champagne. Reportedly the giant bottle was being saved for when HQ Trivia reached three million players, but it never did.

The final day's total prize money was $5, which Richards paid for himself. BBC News says that the five bucks had to be divided between 523 winners.

HQ Trivia was originally created by the same team that made the also defunct video-sharing app Vine.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Amazing to watch the fall of some of these investments. From appearing to have everything they need and want to survive, users and money, they still fail. From a previous recent story here I purchased "Losing the Signal". Haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I wold be interested to add some type of compilation book covering these smaller business ventures to my reading list.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Finally a "that can't work as a business, right??" idea that proved that sometimes common sense proves correct.  (On the other hand, I'm sure there are some savvy people out there that are shaking their heads at how they weren't able to convert significant buzz and a large numbers of captive eyeballs into cash.)
    cornchipdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Back in the first dot bomb round of the late nineties, there was a site called “fuckedcompany” that was the insiders place to dish dirt on the impending death of their startup. I think it might be time to get that band back together...
    tmayrazorpitcornchipSpamSandwichIreneWdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    Guess harvesting user personal data for profit is best left to the experts. 
    razorpitcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    hexclock said:
    “champaign”

    Champagne 
    We're loyal to you Illinois 
    We're Orange and Blue, Illinois 
    We'll back you to stand 
    'Gainst the best in the land 
    For we know you have sand, Illinois

    (Heh. Sand, indeed That's old-timey!)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,835member
    great story 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Well, if the same team created Vine and failed to make enough money, then HQ Trivia did the same thing and did not learn their lessons.
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    I never really understod how they got money. But I guess if they would have been sponsored they could have pulled it through. When all money you get comes from investors its like the Dot-com bubble in the 2000s. 
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    owl says what?
    edited February 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    anomeanome Posts: 1,441member
    owl says what?
    Second base?

    I played it a few times, but it had a lot of problems - connections, lost inputs, the occasional hit the wrong button, etc - plus I didn't really ever want to set up a PayPal account just to claim the prize money.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Instead of dot-com bubble, it's an app bubble.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    anome said:
    owl says what?
    Second base?

    I played it a few times, but it had a lot of problems - connections, lost inputs, the occasional hit the wrong button, etc - plus I didn't really ever want to set up a PayPal account just to claim the prize money.
    I don’t give a dam.   :D

    Couldn't resist.
    edited February 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    dbreck said:
    Back in the first dot bomb round of the late nineties, there was a site called “fuckedcompany” that was the insiders place to dish dirt on the impending death of their startup. I think it might be time to get that band back together...
    Thankfully poorly run app companies aren’t a point of concentration for investors.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,172member
    Guess harvesting user personal data for profit is best left to the experts. 
    Was this the case with the HQ app? I heard some negative things about it, but it was just things like the app not working correctly?  Are we just assuming that was how they operated to make money since the app was free?  I played it a couple of times and never really understood how they functioned with the app being free.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    Oh look, another product-less money-making social media scheme based on nothing but hype and the promise of selling advertising. What a shock that it results in bankruptcy when the “investors” pull out.

    Edit: The only thing surprising here is that we don’t hear of this kind of thing MUCH more often.
    edited February 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    On February 18, 2020, co-founder Rus Yusupov announced on Twitter that another unnamed company had purchased the HQ franchise, thus allowing it to continue in the near future.
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