In September 2019, award-winning online gambling software supplier Microgaming shocked players and industry analysts when it announced that it would close its storied online poker network, MPN.
After an “extensive review of the poker product,” the conclusion was that the company “had to adopt a very different strategy and business model.”
“Ultimately, the poker network is not part of that vision,” it was stated at the time.
The network stressed that it would be “business as usual” up until its closure date—and it stuck to that commitment. Over the following eight months, MPN ran its last ever UCOP, successfully deployed a final software update, concluded its live tour in style, and, with almost six months’ notice, set a clear closure date of May 19, 2020.
That is, perhaps, the first and most important fact: That the network is still going to shut on that day, one week away.
Sticking to the Plan
The world of online poker has transformed over the last two months. With the outbreak of COVID-19 and global stay-at-home orders, there has been a surge in online poker interest. The industry doubled in size in a matter of weeks. Gaming companies are leaning on online poker as an alternative for sports bettors for their real money gaming entertainment. It has propelled the oft-overlooked vertical into the limelight.
But if fans of MPN hoped this would result in a last-minute change of heart, they will be disappointed. While MPN has enjoyed growth during this period, seeing its cash game traffic almost double from its usual average of 300 concurrent cash game traffic to a peak of 550 in early April, it has not been enough for Microgaming to divert course, PRO understands.
So, after 17 years operating an online poker network, and two years in an ultimately-unsuccessful attempt to reboot its network with a radical new software direction, is will still close its doors permanently in seven days’ time.