Internet gaming group Empire Online announced today it is conducting "advanced talks" with former partner PartyGaming Plc. in an effort to settle its outstanding litigation and the "'assignment' of its related so-called skin activities." According to Forbes, today's announcement comes on the heels of a recent legal hearing in London where the judge instructed the gaming firms to reach an out-of-court settlement.
One possible resolution could see PartyGaming buying Empire Online's remaining skins business and paying it off, though no official announcement has been issued confirming this or the amount PartyGaming would pay.
Empire Online launched a claim of several hundred thousand pounds against PartyGaming in December in the Gibraltar High Court for breach of contract. At the time, a statement was released explaining that the company's legal action was in response to "damage caused to it by the conduct of companies within the PartyGaming group in separating the poker system used by PartyGaming players from that of its skins."
Empire Poker and a number of other Empire Online white label poker rooms served as the main skins to PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com before the site was moved to a new, exclusive operating platform separating it from the skins in October, 2005. Immediately following the split, Empire Online began to experience a downward slide: it lost a chunk of its player base to PartyGaming, and twice issued warnings to investors that 2005 profits would be lower than previously anticipated. It has since proved itself wrong, however, when it posted strong growth results earlier this month.