MPN To Close In New Year3 years ago
MPN, the poker network administered by gaming software giant Microgaming, will cease to run games in the new year. The network has been running for 16 years, serving many leading poker rooms since then but has now been given a life expectancy of just 6-8 months meaning we could lose it as early as March.
While whispers within the poker community had been ongoing for a while, the first official signs of trouble were detected a day before the announcement was made when players on individual skins were informed of the upcoming decision. Users on Two Plus Two went as far as posting one such email, in this case from One Time Poker on the forum site.
No Longer Fits Strategic Vision
In a press release issued on Friday September 20, Isle of Man based Microgaming confirmed that the shutting down of services follows an extensive internal review after which senior management felt that the MPN had become outdated in the modern game.
Microgaming’s CEO John Coleman said in the statement:
“The network model no longer fits with our strategic vision for poker, and this is the right time to announce the closure as we focus on redistributing key resources and personnel across the business. While the network will be closing, this is not the end for poker at Microgaming, which is driven to create the most enjoyable entertainment experiences, leading the way with world-class gaming content. Ultimately, this move will help the business to achieve that vision as we follow a new strategic direction for the vertical, details of which will be revealed in due course.”
On Twitter, Managing Director Alex Scott, who was also culpable in the demise of PKR, also confirmed the sad news.
Poker Still A Part Of Microgaming’s Future
The key take home there is that, while the MPN may be a limping dead man walking, poker may still have a role to play in Microgaming’s future, although the new Prima software is not expected to be a part of this.
MPN, which started life in 2003 under the moniker Prima Poker, has been haemorrhaging skins over the past few years. Some, like BetVictor and Betway, no longer offer poker, while others like Kindred owned Unibet now run on their own branded independent network run in conjunction with Relax Gaming, something we could see more of. Redkings and the extinct PKR were also recent skins of the MPN but are either no longer operating or offering poker.
At present, there are 17 skins on the MPN who will now be in search for a new home. These include Grosvenor Poker, One Time Poker, GUTS, bets10, paf, 188BET, CoolBet, Betsafe, Betsson, FCF Poker, RedStar, OlyBet, NordicBet and 32 Red who, as part of Kindred, could conceivably migrate directly in to the Unibet network.
Throughout their operation, the MPN has largely run in competition against PlayTech’s poker arm, iPoker which includes the rooms for major operators such as Bet365, Betfred, Paddy Power, William Hill as well as Ladbrokes and Coral, who are both owned by GVC Holdings making them stable mates with partypoker.
With only months left to live, Microgaming insist that the Universal Championship of Poker (UKOP) series will continue as planned, while other commitments will be honoured. In the meantime, poker games will run as normal and players will be given plenty to of time to withdraw any funds.
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