PKR Completes Migration to MPN Platform
PKR.com, the little 3-D online poker engine that could, has confirmed that it has completed its transition to become a room on the Microgaming Poker Network [MPN]. The move ends a long run for PKR.com as a standalone site, but not all that history is lost — the arrangement with MPN includes a framework through which MPN’s new PKR.com skin will still be able to utilize the 3-D graphics that made PKR a distinctive offering.
PKR.com’s been around a long time at that. Founded back in 2005 and launched in 2006, the second-wave, Alderney-based online poker site was one of several offerings in that era that looked for gimmicks through which to capture market share from the industry’s established giants. Most of those gimmicks, as well as the sites behind them, came and went. But PKR endured, slowly carving out a niche of dedicated European users who enjoyed the site’s 3-D, animated characters.
But times change and industries mature. And pressured by those mature-market demographics, PKR.com and MPN jointly announced last month the upcoming end of PKR’s long indie run. Here’s the meat of that brief presser:
Best known for its 3D poker software and close knit community, PKR will not only join forces with the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN), but also relaunch its Casino brand and create a new Vegas slots brand, both using the latest Microgaming games.
PKR becomes the first operator to join the Microgaming Poker Network while retaining its signature software, a move made possible by Microgaming’s revolutionary Babelfish API technology, which launched in January 2015.
Said Chris Welch, the CEO of PKR, “The opportunity to connect our unique 3D poker software to a popular network and enjoy the best of both worlds means we can dream bigger once again. With our software and community allied to Microgaming’s advanced products, poker liquidity and proven track record, this is the perfect match.”
Utilising Microgaming’s unrivaled casino software, PKR Casino will get a revamp with instant-play browser games, a desktop download and native iOS and Android apps. The newly created PKR Vegas – instant-play, html5 and flash games available in browser – takes the UK operator in a bold new direction.
PKR’s migration is anticipated to take place later this month.
“We’re incredibly proud to have signed PKR on an exclusive basis for both poker and casino,” said Roger Raatgever, the CEO of Microgaming. “When we launched Babelfish in 2014 we felt it was something special; we’re now seeing the fruits of our labour with PKR able to join the growing MPN whilst retaining its unique software. 2016 is shaping up to be an incredible year for Microgaming and the MPN.”
The transition didn’t go quite exactly as planned. The pending move was first revealed on February 8th, and PKR and MPN planned to have everything shifted over by the end of last month. Instead, it took a couple of extra weeks to get all of the transition piecework into place.
However, it’s really because of Microgaming’s Babelfish API (Application Program Interface) that PKR’s unique 3-D, animated graphics still live. Launched in early 2015, the Babelfish API allow independently developed poker clients to be “plugged in” to the MPN framework. Russian-language site Adjarabet, based in Georgia, was the first to launch using the Babelfish interface last year. Babelfish’s purpose is to extend a lifeline to site’s with distinctive features and an independent feel, rather than forcing them into a plug-n-play option consisting of a generic skin with only the brand’s imagery to separate it from what be dozens of similar network skins.