Sad news for all Microgaming’s poker fans was announced on September 20. Microgaming Poker Network (MPN), formerly known as Microgaming Network, is planned to close down in 2020. The exact date of MPN’s shutdown has not been decided yet, but the network is expected to disappear either in Q2 or Q3 of 2020.
Microgaming Poker Network is one of the oldest, most respected, and most popular poker operations in the world. The exact reason for the closure is not clear yet, but according to Microgaming, MPN simply did not fit into the company’s online poker growth strategy.
The news first surfaced after MPN’s managing director, Alex Scott, released a blog post that opened with the line, “I’m sad to confirm that Microgaming Poker Network will close next year.”
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What’s the Reason Behind MPN’s Shutdown?
The news that Microgaming Poker Network will be closed came as a shock to tens of thousands of poker fans who use the platform on a regular basis. The main question everybody wanted an answer to ASAP was — why?
In a statement released on the company’s official website on September 20, Microgaming’s CEO, John Coleman, said:
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.
According to this statement, Microgaming simply has no more interest in keeping MPN alive. Their analysis of the market and their strategy shows that their resources could be better used elsewhere.
However, according to some rumors, the real reason behind MPN’s shutdown hides behind the bot problem this platform has been experiencing for a while.
These rumors were sparked by a recent announcement released by Microgaming Poker Network’s officials, showing the stats about the activity of bot accounts on MPN. According to the information in this statement, a large bot ring was caught in August 2018 and most of the following months.
What’s Next for Microgaming Poker After MPN Closes?
According to Microgaming’s officials, the closure of MPN is not devastating news for the company. Microgaming does not plan to completely disappear from the online poker market. On the contrary, it plans to strengthen its position by developing and investing in new products that are more in line with the direction the poker industry is heading in now.
According to John Coleman, the CEO at Microgaming:
…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…
What this new strategic direction for the poker vertical entails is not yet known. Until this information is shared and until MPN closes, the network will continue to operate as usual.
Players should not expect any turbulence until Q2 2020, as they will be able to enjoy a full offering of tournaments, promotions, cash games, and live events.
Major Brands on MPN Need a New Home
For those who do not already know this, MPN is an online poker network that offers almost 30 different poker rooms and is home to some of the biggest poker providers. They don’t sign up players themselves but provide a platform on which individual poker rooms can make their services available to players.
Some of the major online poker sites that will be in a rut after MPN closes include CoolBet, paf, Grosvenor Poker, Betsson, betsafe, NordicBet, 32 Red, and so on.
MPN was losing brands even before the announcement of the shutdown. For example, RedKings Poker left MPN in April 2019 when the company closed its doors, Unibet left in 2014 to start its standalone platform, and PKR was suspended from the network due to financial issues.
It remains to be seen what the future of the remaining poker rooms will be like, as well as what the future holds for Microgaming’s online poker services.