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The UK multiplayer games scene has lost another participant with the demise of The Playing Fields.

The London-based company this week announced that it had run out of cash and had placed itself in the hands of the liquidators. All activities will cease as of January 29, and the company urges members to cancel subs with their banks.

The Playing Fields operates an Internet cafe, housed in a basement just off Tottenham Court Road. It is a popular venue for LAN gaming sessions and a venue for tournaments.

In an email, Edward Watson and Charles Allen, founders of The Playing Fields, write: "We started out in April 1997 with a vision of helping to push multiplayer computer gaming into the mainstream. After four and a half years of hard graft we have finally run out of money and so can no longer carry on. History will tell whether we made a difference.

To all our customers, members and friends thank you for all your support over the past few years and thank you for the memories. But most of all thank you to our staff. We have been blessed with some of the best, most loyal, most dedicated staff that you can find. We are only sorry that we couldn't find the finance to build on their efforts.

We have always enjoyed making people happy through our own brand of entertainment. It's been a roller coaster ride, but it has always been fun and rewarding."

Barrysworld and Gameplay, the UK's biggest games ISPs went bust last year. Barrysworld is now owned by Electronics Boutique, while BTOpenworld and BlueYonder, the broadband ISP arm of Telewest, are entered the market (in BT's case re-entered). ®

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