If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that HQ Trivia truly revolutionized the way we think of game shows by bringing us the same live on a daily basis through a mobile application. It’s thus no surprise it went viral shortly following its launch and admittedly swept the nation, only to just as suddenly crumble apart because it simply was not ready for what was to come. So now that even CNN Films/HBO Max’s ‘Glitch: The Rise and Fall of HQ Trivia’ has lived up to its title by exploring the same, let’s find out whether this outlet is operational these days, shall we?
Is HQ Trivia Still Running?
It was reportedly in August 2017 when HQ Trivia was first released to the general public, allowing them to participate in daily quizzes wherein they could win or split real cash prizes in real-time. This platform was actually developed by the successful creators of Vine, Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov, under the banner of Intermedia Labs, which was their own 2015-launched app studio. In fact, in these two years, the parent company had ostensibly come out with broadcasting service Hype as well as video remixing outlet Bounce, yet neither gained as much traction as the former.
We say this because HQ acquired thousands of users within a month, only for it to become a million by January 2018 before jumping straight to a record high of 2.3 million merely two months later in March. And hence came the issues — there were a lot of error messages, audio lagging, video freezing, and sudden disconnection, according to the aforecited documentary, all of which led to severe backlash. Then there’s also the fact the terms and conditions of this platform were such that no one could cash out their wins until they had at least a $20 balance, which was initially difficult as the prize itself was low.
However, HQ did earn proper funding a little while later, leading to not just gradual yet massive increases in the cash pot but also a lot of celebrity attention as well as expansion into HQ Words plus HQ Tunes. Moreover, the original live trivia game show soon found independent markets in Australia, Germany, and the UK, wherein different hosts helmed their quizzes at different time zones as per area convenience. Yet alas, everything turned upside down on February 14, 2020, as the firm sent a staff memo stating they’d immediately “cease operations” in favor of dissolution due to stopped funding and near bankruptcy.
HQ thus hosted a “final” game the following day, only to suddenly resume its daily episodes a mere six weeks later on March 29, 2020, thanks to an inner deal to keep the franchise operational. Though it soon became evident the appeal was lost, leaving the enterprise no choice but to go down to a once-a-week schedule, which in itself hasn’t been followed since November 17, 2022. This particular Thursday was the last time HQ Trivia was online for an official live game, and all its servers were swiftly deemed either non-functional or non-responsive from the backend.
— HQ Trivia (@hqtrivia) January 20, 2023
Then, in mid-January 2023, it came to light the HQ app had been hacked — it was displaying the following message, in part: “Dear HQ Community, The app has been taken over by me, a security vulnerability finder. We all are tired of HQ’s lack of communication, and as such the app has been taken over. The way I was able to take over the app? They didn’t pay their server hosting fee.”
Though arguably the most astonishing part is that HQ hasn’t directly responded to this hacking in any way, shape, or form. In fact, all they’ve done is respond to a user with “😏” when they tweeted, “The whole #HQTrivia ‘hacking’ incident is actually pretty funny. HQ could easily shut it down whenever, they still own the domains, but I’m sure they’re just as curious to see what’ll happen as the rest of us are. Gonna be interesting to see,” as seen above. In other words, no, HQ Trivia is not still active.