When HQ Trivia abruptly announced it was penniless and shuttering last week, players of the once-viral live game show app wondered what the news meant for any winnings they’d yet to cash in. For many, that question continues to remain unanswered, according to a recent Digital Trends report.
Last Friday—when CEO Rus Yusupov announced that a last-minute failed acquisition spelled the company’s end—several fans on Reddit reported encountering error messages or suddenly and inexplicably blank balances when trying to collect their payouts. After the initial flood of inquests, many players were finally able to get the app’s cash-out function to work over the weekend, but more than a dozen say they’re still waiting on that prize money, per Digital Trends.
During the app’s heyday, players could expect to see payouts show up in their PayPal accounts within a day or two. And while HQ Trivia is no stranger to payout delays, this one’s timing makes an already bleak situation look even worse.
“No money yet,” HQ Trivia player Jean Henegan told the outlet of their $13.85 in winnings. “I’m not holding out much hope at this point.”
Several other players told Digital Trends that they were similarly waiting on payouts between $20 and $40, and many found that their in-app balances had returned to $0 despite the lack of winnings in their PayPal accounts. When HQ Trivia later opened up a hotline for fans to share their memories and comments, the subject of payouts also frequently cropped up, with many fans leaving voicemails that simply demanded to know “Where’s my money?”
This outcry continues in spite of a string of recent Twitter posts from Yusupov claiming that the company’s had an abrupt reversal of fortune.
“We have found a new home for HQ, with a company that wants to keep it running,” the CEO tweeted Tuesday. “All employees, contractors and players are top priority. Severance will be paid and you will be able to cash out.”
He hedged the news with a warning that it’s “not a done deal yet,” though he remains optimistic for zombie HQ Trivia. No additional information on the app’s return date or its purported buyer were provided, and both Yusupov and official HQ Trivia accounts have remained silent on the matter since. The company did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, but we’ll update this post should we hear back.
“HQ didn’t die of natural causes. It was poisoned with a lethal cocktail of incompetence, arrogance, short-sightedness & sociopathic delusion. Saddened to see it finally succumb; sadder still for the good & talented staff abruptly left in the lurch after being gaslit and lied to.”