HQ Trivia splash screen

HQ Trivia shuts down following failed acquisition

The studio behind the mobile quiz game HQ Trivia – also called HQ Trivia – has shut down.

As reported by CNN Business, employees were notified of the closure on Friday via an internal email from CEO Rus Yusupov that said: “lead investors are no longer willing to fund the company, and so effective today, HQ will cease operations and move to distribution”.

Yusupov also revealed in the correspondence that the company had hired a banker “to help find additional investors and partners to support the expansion of the company” and though the developer had “received an offer from an established business”, the acquisition fell through at the eleventh hour.

It had been a difficult year for HQ Trivia, with more than half of the company trying to oust CEO Rus Yusupov who reassumed control after the death of former CEO and co-founder, Colin Kroll. While 20 of its 35 team members signed a letter asking for Yusupov’s resignation it was never sent, but Yusupov became aware of the plan and fired two staff believed to have started the petition, leading to the resignations of both its SVP of brand partnerships and marketing manager. It’s further rumoured that HQ Trivia’s popular quiz host, Scott Rogowsky, also left due to Yusupov, and in July 2019 the studio let go a third of the 35-strong team.

“With HQ we showed the world the future of TV. We didn’t get to where we hoped by we did stretch the world’s imagination for what’s possible on our smartphones. Thanks to everyone who helped build this and thanks for playing,” Yusupov said on Twitter.

These latest layoffs sadly come on the back of several other closures and cutbacks we’ve seen across studios in recent months, most recently PlayStation’s Manchester Studio, Fantasy Flight Interactive, Gameloft, Amazon Game Studios and PayDay developer, Starbreeze. In a brief statement on the latter company’s official website, the firm said it had decided to make organisational changes “in order to make the organization more efficient and reduce costs”, resulting in 60 redundancies primarily from its Stockholm office.

Other recent layoffs and closures include Iron Tiger Studios, ArenaNet, Next Games, Forgotten Key, Define Human Studios, Bandai Namco Vancouver, and Trion Worlds. Telltale Games also laid off its staff in a studio closure back in September 2018.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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