Cisco preps Gameplay stake

Stranger things etc.

Cisco is to take a 20 per cent stake in Gameplay, the troubled online games retailer, according to a particularly well-briefed article in today's Sunday Telegraph.

Talks are at "an advanced stage", with Cisco kicking off due diligence this week, the newspaper says.

The Sunday Telegraph points to Cisco's record in buying companies - but Gameplay doesn't, we think, exactly fit the bill.

Apparently, Cisco is interested in Gameplay's Jive multiplaying games platform - a way to play games on anything from mobile phones, through to computers and TVs. But it's likely that any deal will transacted through its venture capital arm - hence the minority stake.

Gameplay announced 275 job losses on Friday, and the withdrawal from a failed experiment in High street retailing, with the closure of eight stores.

Cisco is an investor of sorts in Barrysworld, the almost doomed online gamesplaying site, through the provision of debt finance to buy its kit.

Barrysworld last month announced its intention to shut up shop and go into voluntary liquidation of February 5. But it now says it will continue operating for the time being.

In an update published yesterday, co-founder TedTheDog said: "We're still talking to potential buyers and to the liquidator and still anything could happen". ®

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