TORONTO -- A popular trivia app known for its fun atmosphere and large cash prizes has come to the end of the road.

HQ, which was named Time magazine's app of the year months after its 2017 launch, held its final contest Friday night.

CNN reported Friday that HQ co-founder and CEO Rus Yusupov sent a company-wide email stating that the company would immediately "cease operations and move to dissolution" because investors were backing out.

Yusupov co-founded HQ with Colin Kroll, who died in 2018 of an apparent drug overdose. In a tweet, Yusupov said HQ "didn't get to where we hoped but we did stretch the world's imagination for what's possible on our smartphones."


Twenty-five full-time employees of HQ are losing their jobs due to the company's closure. Its most prominent face, host Scott Rogowsky, left last spring to host a show for Major League Baseball.

Rogowsky tweeted Saturday that he had enjoyed his time at HQ and claimed that the company had been "poisoned with a lethal cocktail of incompetence, arrogance, short-sightedness [and] sociopathic delusion."

According to the Business of Apps website, HQ Trivia had more than two million users playing at once on multiple occasions, including 2.2 million concurrent users for a special-edition show hosted by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

The company had been valued at US$100 million as of March 2018. The HQ Trivia game itself was free to play; the company raised its revenue through advertising and in-app purchases.

Current hosts Matt Richards and Anna Roisman led one final edition of HQ Trivia Friday night, which TechCrunch described as "a beautiful disaster" in which the hosts "cursed, sprayed champagne, threatened to defecate on the homes of trolls in the chat window, and begged for new jobs." Video of the final show, which contains foul language, has been posted to YouTube.