HQ Trivia Is Back to Tackle Boredom in the Age of Coronavirus

Conor Cawley

The coronavirus outbreak has closed bars, shuttered small businesses, and decimated the social lives of nearly everyone on Earth, but HQ Trivia is back from the dead, so at least we've got that going for us.

At the end of the summer in 2017, a strange mobile app had taken the world by storm. HQ Live had millions of viewers tuning in twice a day to engage in a massive game of trivia that gave out cash prizes to a few winners. Unfortunately, the immense popularity waned over time, with the eventual death of the app coming just a few months ago.

Luckily, HQ Trivia is back from the dead thanks to an anonymous investor, just in time to save us from our coronavirus boredom.

HQ Trivia Is Back

Last night, the popular digital trivia game made its triumphant return, with host Matt Richards taking the reins for the first time since the app's cancellation in early February. And of course, the return was announced on Twitter by CEO and cofounder Rus Yusupov.

In addition to the $1,000 cash prize available to the winners of the game, Yusupov noted that players that were unable to cash out before the app folded would now have the opportunity to do so.

How Did HQ Trivia Rise from the Dead?

Despite the incredibly convenient timing, HQ Trivia's return isn't entirely tied to the coronavirus outbreak. According to Yusupov, the app shut down in early February because the lead investors had pulled out. However, just a few weeks later, good news came a-knocking.

“I spent the weekend on the phone finding a new buyer and do right by everyone,” said Yusupov in a Twitter thread from mid-February. “We have found a new home for HQ, with a company that wants to keep it running. All employees, contractors and players are top priority. Severance will be paid and you will be able to cash out.”

Outside of Twitter threads, not much is known about who saved HQ Trivia from the graveyard of failed businesses. The intervention of an anonymous investor certainly adds another layer of intrigue to the decidedly dramatic past of the popular trivia app, but will that be enough to keep the lights on after the pandemic has subsided? Only time will tell.

The Coronavirus Bump

Despite HQ Trivia not necessarily being saved due to the coronavirus outbreak, it's certainly not impossible, particularly given that a number of other tech businesses that are seeing a notable bump in numbers thanks to the stay-at-home orders in place.

Video chat is obviously booming, with apps like Zoom and House Party seeing remarkably high new user counts this week. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ have also seen a surge, although privacy stats have risen along with it. Even laptops are experiencing an uptick, with more and more people realize that their home setup just isn't cutting it during the lockdown.

Suffice it to say, the coronavirus outbreak is having a wide and unpredictable effect on the world at large, and the consequences and benefits of the dramatic shift still remain to be seen.

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Conor is the Senior Writer for Tech.co. For the last four years, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His extensive background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host tech-centric events like Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.

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