London gaming bar chain Platform is shutting down for good

Platform has entered liquidation, leaving punters distraught (Platform)
Platform has entered liquidation, leaving punters distraught (Platform)

Platform, a gaming bar with venues in Canary Wharf and Shoreditch, is closing its doors, leaving Londoners with fewer haunts that dish out beat-em-ups and booze.

The UK chain has ceased trading and both its London branches are now listed as permanently closed.

Platform contacted an insolvency firm this week to assist with its liquidation, which typically occurs when a business cannot continue for financial reasons, and also creditors.

Upon entering Platform’s brash London bars, visitors were greeted with a cacophony of cheers and tyre screeches. Kids with bored parents and tipsy millennials were scattered throughout its brightly lit booths. The pizzas and punful cocktails (Bloody Mario, anyone?) flowed between expletive-filled sessions of Mario Kart and Overcooked 2.

Platform sprang to life in 2018 before opening its Shoreditch venue in 2019. It was eyeing an expansion before Covid 19-induced lockdowns cut short its streak. Gaming bars have struggled to adjust to a post-pandemic London, with Platform’s peer SideQuest also recently closing its Westfield branch.

“It is with a heavy heart to announce that Platform has ceased trading,” the company said in a tweet on Friday April 19.

“Thank you to all of our loyal customers that have supported us for the last 5 years, we are truly grateful.”

One-time patrons flooded the replies with tearful tributes to the gamers’ hidey-hole. Crying-face and heart emojis were seemingly everywhere, and GIFs of forlorn gaming icons Pikachu and Solid Snake were offered in place of hugs and handshakes.

“Absolutely devastated. you guys gave us something the uk gaming and esports ecosystem needed. thank you for doing what you did,” a Twitter user said.

“I'm sorry to hear this, thank you for years of operation bringing a great venue to the public in a difficult time for every one,” tweeted another erstwhile punter.

Platform may be gone, but if you’re seeking multiplayer gaming fun outside the four walls of your London flat, there are still plenty of options to choose from.

Check out our list of the capital’s best retro arcade and contemporary gaming bars to find your next fave spot. A word to the wise: Just don’t mix VR with Vermouth.