Colin Kroll, the 35-year-old CEO and co-founder of mobile game sensation HQ Trivia, was found dead after an apparent drug overdose on Saturday night.
An NYPD official confirmed to The Daily Beast that authorities found Kroll in his bed, unconscious and unresponsive, shortly before midnight on Saturday. Police were there to perform a welfare check, though it’s not clear who alerted them or when.
The unnamed official who confirmed the news — which was first reported by TMZ — also noted that narcotics and drug paraphernalia were found in Kroll’s apartment, and that the death is being investigated as a narcotics overdose.
Kroll was best known in recent years for the part he playing in building HQ Trivia, a free-to-play mobile trivia game in which all participants have a chance at winning cash prizes. The game’s popularity peaked in 2017, though it’s still around today and still trying out new ideas on its sizable audience.
Previously, Kroll and his HQ business partner Rus Yusupov made a name for themselves in tech as the founders of Vine. Twitter acquired the short-form video hosting service in 2012, only a few months after it launched, and it became a go-to source of memes and other examples of viral internet until Twitter shut it down in late 2016.
Yusupov expressed his sadness at the death of his friend and business partner in a Sunday afternoon tweet.
So sad to hear about the passing of my friend and co-founder Colin Kroll. My thoughts & prayers go out to his loved ones. I will forever remember him for his kind soul and big heart. He made the world and internet a better place. Rest in peace, brother.
— Rus (@rus) December 16, 2018
HQ host Scott Rogowsky also paid tribute to Kroll.
Colin Kroll was a true visionary who changed the app game twice, and with HQ he changed my life. He poured his heart and soul into his work and was incredibly proud of what his team accomplished. I will forever be grateful for his friendship, his leadership, and his belief in me.
— Quiz Uncle (@ScottRogowsky) December 17, 2018
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