Gameplay knocks itself off Net

Web sites vanish

Updated Both Gameplay's Web sites (.com and .co.uk) vanished this morning, sparking rumours that the troubled company had been stripped and left to die.

We tried to contact the company but its phone kept ringing off. The company PR assured us that there was no intention to kill off the sites. In fact, Gameplay.com is to be marketed as an e-commerce site in a bid to get the brand to make some money.

We originally wrote this morning that this was down to BT's tardiness in fixed a router problem. However, following several calls from Gameplay, BT and other interested parties, it would seem the matter is somewhat more complicated.

Yes, Gameplay does have a service agreement with BT but it was Gameplay staff (the very few of them left) who shifted the company's servers from London to their new home in Leeds. En route, it would seem, one of the boxes was damaged, leading to Gameplay's disappearance from the Net today.

BT is helping Gameplay staff to fix the problem as we speak but is not responsible. Hence our "BT kills Gameplay, for a moment" headline of earlier was not strictly true. Gameplay's concern at the story may or may not have something to do with the fact that BT's service contract is currently be renegotiated.

The sites are still down as of 1.30pm.

The troubled dotcom sold its Spanish games division to Electronics Boutique for £3.4 million earlier this month - an improvement on the £1 it got for its UK division. At the same time it laid off most of its staff, leaving just a skeleton crew to run the sites. ®

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