A Look Back At The Rise And Fall Of HQ Trivia

When Scott Rogowsky auditioned to be the host of an unreleased online quiz show called HQ Trivia back in 2017, he didn’t expect it to be his ticket to instant fame.[0] Little did he know, the “game show on your phone” app – from the founders of once-popular six-second video platform Vine – would become an overnight national sensation.[0] Millions of users, including celebrities, would open the app at the same time to answer a series of trivia questions for cash prizes.[1] By combining the most impressive aspects of mobile gaming, live video streaming, and TV production, a unique experience was created allowing people to partake in the fun from their homes, pubs, and other locations in real time.[1]

Rogowsky, renowned for his captivating and idiosyncratic allure, became the internet's adored “Quiz Daddy” and had a privileged view of the trendiest development in tech.[1] By March of 2018, each trivia session had attracted over 2.3 million users.[1]

The company, however, quickly imploded.[1] Its success was eventually undone due to conflicts among the executives, personnel changes, and the passing of one of its creators, Colin Kroll.[1] Tensions rose between Rogowsky and HQ Trivia’s co-founder Rus Yusupov, who was reportedly jealous of Rogowsky becoming the face of the company.[1] It was reported that Yusupov and Kroll had a disagreement due to their different perspectives.[1] It was reported that Kroll's past aggressive conduct while at Vine prevented some investors from participating.[1]

Every day, for a period of half an hour, people around the world would watch in anticipation as one or more individuals had the chance to win a large sum of money via HQ Trivia. Viewers also had their own opportunity to join the competition and share the pot.[0] The pool is split among the winning players.[1] At times, the prize money was substantial ($250,000); on other occasions, it was a modest $11.[1]

In February 2020, players received a mysterious notification on their phones which stated: “HQ is live. Just kidding. We’re off the air indefinitely.” This marked the official closure of the app.[1]

In 2018, Facebook introduced a gameshow platform, which was discontinued in the United States the next year.[1] TikTok recently hosted a multiple-round quiz show with a live host and cash prizes that lasted for several days.[1]

0. “HQ Trivia imploded fast but its legacy lives on” WEVV, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.wevv.com/news/national/hq-trivia-imploded-fast-but-its-legacy-lives-on/article_a7253de4-6899-5d61-913d-988c87930fd2.html

1. “This game show app was an overnight sensation, and crashed just as fast” kuna noticias y kuna radio, 3 Mar. 2023, https://kesq.com/money/cnn-social-media-technology/2023/03/03/hq-trivia-imploded-fast-but-its-legacy-lives-on-4

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