Remember when the only thing we were all doing online together at the same time, except live-tweeting reality shows, was playing HQ Trivia?
The massively popular trivia game announced its return on Sunday night after a year of ups, downs, cancellations, firings, and contradictory statements. In a single week in February, the CEO stated that the company was out of cash after a failed acquisition and would shut down, then four days later, announced that there was, in fact, hope.
(Hey, fun fact: February was last month. Yeah.)
On Sunday evening, a push notification announcing the game would return for a live event at 9 p.m. ET went out to users with the app still installed, and host Matt Richards confirmed during the show that the game would return each night at the same time. A report from The Verge quotes an anonymous source who says that the company has been privately acquired.
Users greeted the news with relief, as social distancing and isolation measures aiming to slow the spread of coronavirus have left people yearning for human interaction and something to do that isn’t watching TV, attempting to bake, dread-scrolling Twitter, being wracked with guilt over being one of the lucky ones who just has to stay indoors, playing Animal Crossing, or wishing they had a Switch so they could play Animal Crossing.
However, a few users noted that their attempts to cash out their winnings when the app last shut down were unsuccessful, and wanted to know if their $0 balances might be restored.
What happened to the cashouts? The money left our HQ accounts but it never came to our PayPal accounts.
— go cubs (@gocubs88) March 29, 2020
Richards tweeted that players who had left their winnings in their account would be able to cash out, and clarified in the intro to Sunday’s game that more information would be sent out this week, but didn’t clarify the situation for players who’d unsuccessfully tried earlier.
What if we cashed out over the past few weeks? My balance showed 0
— Keith Allen 🗯 (@keithallen1) March 30, 2020
Mashable has reached out to HQ for clarification on the payouts, and will update with any responses.
Richards also revealed that there would be donations matching players’ cash prizes to non-profits and organisations working to support people affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with a video message from chef José Andres, whose World Central Kitchen is helping to feed thousands.
Just remember: You may be starved for human interaction, but the unhinged chaos of the HQ Trivia chat feed is never the answer.
UPDATE: March 30, 2020, 12:05 p.m. AEDT This story has been updated to note the confirmation of regular games, and the announcement of fundraising for charities supporting coronavirus-affected communities.