Ongame Network... Going, Going, Gone?2 years ago
You won’t find any mention of it yet on their own site, but multiple reports state that the once popular Ongame Network is set to shut its doors on October 15th, bringing to an end 17 years of poker offerings.
When it started life back in 1999 as PokerRoom it was one of the first online poker sites to provide multi-language support, and catered to Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, and Swedish speakers. These languages were accessed via "regional sites," many of them showing local sponsoring for the selected region.
Since then it has been through many changes, being bought out by Bwin in 2005 and renamed Ongame, becoming one of the major players in the European poker market.
RedKings sail off
This week saw their top skin, RedKings, head off to pastures new – pre-empting the apparently sinking Ongame ship’s final throes. They switched to the popular MPN Microgaming network, Michael Golembo of RedKings stating:
"This change to Microgaming software will allow us to build on our eight-year-old poker business by providing a much improved poker playing experience and doing what RedKings is known for, making poker fun!”
"We’re thrilled to have agreed a poker deal with Microgaming, an expert in the industry.”
Quite what will happen to the other skins on the Ongame network isn’t so clear, but many are likely to disappear – although Evoke Gaming seems set to move its main brands RedBet Poker and WhiteBet Poker across to MPN shortly. Although player funds will be safe, loyalty points and bonuses are likely to be lost in the majority of cases.
With recent traffic being at an all-time low – PokerScout reporting that Ongame were sitting in 35th place with an average of 109 players – and with no presence in the US market, it’s not exactly a surprise that Ongame have given up the ghost. It does, however, show that online poker is still struggling to regain or even retain its footing in the overall gaming marketplace.
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