On Thursday, the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) introduced a new version of its poker client to several of its skins, hopefully allowing the network to be able to roll out updates and feature additions much more smoothly in the future. The new client is named “Prima,” in reference to the original name of the network, Prima Poker.
In a blog post three weeks ago, Microgaming’s Head of Product Alex Scott previewed Prima, explaining that one of the big needs for the new client was that the previous one was simply outdated from a code perspective. It was developed using an older programming language, which tended to be buggy and did not allow MPN to be as nimble with updates. With the new software, Scott said, MPN only needs to make changes once for all platforms combined (PC, Mac, mobile, etc.) rather than needing to craft updates for each platform.
“This is our biggest and most important poker release, and the culmination of a multi-year strategy to revitalise our product and leapfrog the competition,” Scott said in a blog post last week. “I’m proud of what the team has achieved and I’m so excited about what we are going to build together in the coming months.”
He gave more detail about the Prima client in the previous blog entry:
Building from the ground up might seem like a mammoth task, but it has its advantages. In addition to getting rid of some of the enormous complexity that existed in our old client, we’ve been able to reconsider some of the fundamental design decisions that were made many years ago, and evaluate those in the context of poker in 2018. We know so much more about user experience and the behaviour of poker players now than we did in the past, and we’ve been able to build every feature with that in mind. We’ve also been able to build in some bonus features that would be very challenging in our old client, but almost trivial in the new one, such as Ultra HD graphics. These improvements manifest in numerous small ways in the new client, and the overall impact is poker software that is easier to navigate, more intuitive to play, and more enjoyable.
Players will notice that Prima looks great, but actually doesn’t have all of the features that the old software did. This was done on purpose. Scott said Prima is a “Minimal Viable Product (MVP),” the idea being that MPN wanted a great poker client at launch with certain necessary and desired features, but is willing to sacrifice a more robust system for now. MPN will evaluate how certain features work, take feedback on what players want, and make adjustments from there. For MPN, the foundation is the most important thing and extra features can be added later.
For now, the skins will not be forced to push the Prima client to their customers; players will be able to choose which software to use. Scott hopes, though, that most players will be using it by the end of the year.