All of the investment and creative energy that Realtime Worlds put into their MMO "APB" may still live on, despite the fact that the company went belly up and had to shut down their servers relatively soon after the game's launch earlier this year. Publisher GamersFirst has announced that they've acquired "APB" via their subsidiary Reloaded Productions, and they plan on relaunching the title as "APB: Reloaded" in 2011 using a free-to-play/micro-transaction business model.
"'APB' was a game that had several exceptional features and some brilliant ideas, even though it was plagued by some initial balance and monetization issues," GamersFirst CTO and COO Bjorn Book-Larsson said in a press release. "We want to take all the unique features of this title, such as its unparalleled character, weapon and car customization systems, and convert the game to a true free-to-play game. We are deep into the planning and early execution stages for this next chapter of APB and we hope to share more details in the near future."
I would imagine that's going to sound bittersweet to everyone who flushed their subscription dollars into "APB" the first time around, unless of course Reloaded plans on handing out vouchers to everyone who got stiffed.
Realtime employees must have been relieved to learn of this news, however, because GamersFirst's official announcement explains that their purchase allowed for "all outstanding
wages and holiday pay claims" to be met. Warming up to gamers who felt ripped off will take some doing, but GF will come out looking like quite the white the knight if they make this plan work.
Were you sad to see "APB" get shut down? Would you dive back in to play it for free? Share your reactions with us in the comment section below.