HQ on Sunday night broadcast its first live trivia game since it shut down and laid off all its staff in mid-February. An anonymous investor helped resurrect the app by providing funding for it to start operating again, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“The demand from all of you was unstoppable. The need is greater than ever,” host Matt Richards told thousands of HQ players at the start of Sunday’s show. “Tonight we are back to stay, and staying positive in these unsteady times.”
In an acknowledgement that the game was returning amid the global coronavirus crisis, Richards said HQ would match its nightly cash prize with a donation to charity to “help those affected by the pandemic.” He said the company has pledged $100,000 to World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit founded by celebrity chef José Andrés that provides meals to disaster-stricken areas.
HQ games will start at 9 p.m. Eastern time every night. Players who had banked cash winnings before the app’s hiatus will be able to redeem them this week, Richards said.
HQ’s short, daily game shows with cash prizes became so popular following the app’s 2017 launch that they drew more than 2 million viewers at their peak. But the company reportedly struggled to finance its cash prizes and was roiled by the 2018 death of Colin Kroll, one of its co-founders.
Rus Yusupov, the app’s other founder, said he started working to resurrect HQ shortly after its demise. He said on Feb. 18 that he had “found a new home for HQ, with a company that wants to keep it running.” The app’s Twitter account hinted at a comeback last week by posting a tweet with an ellipsis.
Several HQ fans noted that it would be an ideal time for the game to return because players around the world have been shut in their homes to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
“The world could reeeeeeeeeeeeeally use some HQ right now!” one person said on Twitter. “In the midst of all the crazy around us, how wonderful would it be to have some HQ to look forward to every night??”