Online gaming site Freeloader.com is to close after failing to attract sufficient advertising revenue, according to reports on Wednesday morning.
Pure Entertainment Games, the company behind Freeloader.com, announced that revenues so far this year had been "significantly below expectations", especially outside the UK. Rescue talks have failed, and now Pure Entertainment plans to close the site and distribute any surplus funds to shareholders, according to a report by the Press Association.
Pure Entertainment was not immediately available for comment.
Shares in Pure Entertainment fell from 9.5p to 4.5p -- a drop of nearly 50 percent -- in early trading in London.
Freeloader.com allowed its members to download free games, in return for submitting personal details and information about their shopping habits, and had attracted over 750,000 registered users. Pure Entertainment had hoped this information would be a valuable resource -- allowing advertisers to target their marketing campaigns.
Last December, Pure Entertainment had claimed that was on course to reach profitability before March 2002. However, there have been several indications recently that there will be insufficient advertising revenue to sustain some dot-coms in the near future, with Yahoo! announcing a revenue shortfall, and Amazon.com making job cuts.
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