R.I.P., HQ Trivia, the live trivia game show that was beloved by anyone who dreamed of winning a fortune on Jeopardy! but settled for winning a few pennies on a smartphone trivia app. It spawned a series of spin-offs and inspired a handful of imitators, none of which quite lived up original HQ's charm. Its death is a tough pill to swallow for people who've long been hoping for The One True Interactive Game Show that gives us the chance to use the otherwise useless trove of trivia in our heads for something constructive.
The promise of such a game really began with 1 vs. 100, a TV game show that got turned into an X-Box Live game show in 2009. It had a charismatic live host that moved the action along at a fun, brisk pace and its high production values made it feel like a whole-ass TV game show parked its ass in your home. 1 vs. 100 died after less than a year, but it proved that there was a way to open up the TV game show format to every home viewer and not just the brave few emotionally stable enough to withstand an onslaught of mockery if they forgot who painted the Mona Lisa on national TV.
1 vs. 100 was a proof of concept and HQ carried the torch. For a while, it seemed like it had finally figured out how to bring game shows with real prize money into our hands. It had one big Pokemon Go-like burst of fervor that it couldn't sustain. The company was riddled with problems that foretold its fate long before it materialized. One day someone will build on top of the foundations laid by 1 vs. 100 and HQ and make a fun and sustainable gameshow MMO that doesn't live fast and die young. Hope you few who were still clinging to HQ cashed out your merger winnings before it shut down. Those three pennies might come in handy one day.
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. And now you can listen to the first episode on Youtube!