In another case of all-good-things-that-rose-too-quickly-must-come-to-an-end, the company behind the formerly immensely popular game HQ Trivia will be shutting its doors and letting go of its remaining employees. Following the death of its co-founder Colin Kroll in December 2018, they have been beset by other internal issues and so investors have lost interest in funding the company and its products. They have announced that they will immediately “cease operations and move to dissolution.”
CEO and co-founder Rus Yusupov sent a company-wide email last Friday (on Valentine’s Day of all days) and informed their remaining 25 full-time employees that it’s all over for the company, effective that day. CNN was able to get hold of that email which also contained information about their failure to close a potential acquisition after they hired a banker to find additional investors and partners.
Even after Kroll’s death from a drug overdose back in 2018, they have tried to expand their audience by launching new products. Just last December they launched a photo challenge game called HQX but it has failed to replicate the surprise success of HQ Trivia. This meant that investors continued to pull out and they have not been able to get new partners to fund their operations.
Back in March 2018, they were able to raise $15 million at a $100 million valuation, banking on the success of the game that launched in 2017. They were able to generate millions through brand partnerships and ad revenue, but eventually, the game ran out of steam. The company had to lay off employees in July 2019 and other staff members eventually left. Now it looks like the final trivia game has been played and it’s game over.
For their last live broadcast, the two hosts drunkenly discussed the company’s shutdown, had a live chat, and still played the game up to the last question. The final prize was just $5 and was split among 523 viewers. Good luck getting those last few cents though.