PKR was first launched as an online poker site in June 2006, and its main drawing point was that it presented the game in a 3D virtual reality setting. Players were represented by animated characters which could express themselves using body language, perform chip tricks and so on, and that unique approach to the online game brought the company a lot of attention.
Although PKR was originally all about poker, in 2007 it signed a deal with Playtech to also offer a range of casino games to its players. That partnership continued until March of last year, when PKR joined MPN (formerly the Microgaming Poker Network). The move was heralded as one that would help PKR to reach its biggest ever audience, but just 14 months later the poker and casino sites are closed and both players and the industry at large are waiting to find out what will happen next.
Players were not notified about the site closures by PKR, but were left to discover for themselves that something was wrong when they found themselves unable to log into their accounts. Microgaming were as helpful as they could be, and posted what they knew on their own website, but seemed as surprised as everyone else by developments.
A brief statement published by Microgaming last Friday said: ‘Following a request from PKR on Wednesday 3 May 2017 at 17:32, Microgaming suspended gameplay on PKR.com. Microgaming is aware that their games remain offline and players are speculating about the reason for this. As soon as Microgaming has more information on the situation, it will be shared as soon as possible.’
Now more information has come to light, and the latest statement from Microgaming presented PKR fans with the bad news they had been fearing. ‘Microgaming can confirm PKR have filed applications to Court for Administration orders, which will be heard in the week commencing 8 May 2017. Microgaming expects further information to be placed on the website http://status.pkr.com/ following the hearings, including contact details for players and creditors to address queries and details of the process.’
Although it is possible that PKR could rise from the ashes at some point in the future, right now it looks like the end of the road for the company, and for the unique poker interface which made it famous