APB Finds A Home: MMO Relaunch Coming In Early 2011


Posted November 16, 2010 - By Stephen Johnson

APB Beta Test Starts Next Week

PC MMO APB: All Points Bulletin has found a home. After the collapse of original developer, Realtime Worlds, the game's IP has been purchased by GamersFirst, whose parent company, K2 Games, reportedly paid about $2.4 million for the game. The new APB will be free-to-play and supported by micro-transactions when it relaunches early next year.

“[Realtime Worlds] had obviously set their sights very high, in terms of expectation. From a retail sales point of view, APB was obviously a failure, but from our point of view, we see a huge amount of potential in the components of the game," GamersFirst chief operating officer Bjorn Book-Larsson said."We think it’s a fantastic candidate in being a free-to-play title that can be grown over time to be a great community product," he added.

When asked about the major ways the new revenue model would improve APB, Book-Larsson said it would solve two of the chief complaints many gamers had about the game. First, no one will be buying game-time in "chunks," which should cut down on the number of people who drop the game because their friends stop playing, and secondly, the micro-transaction model will help with balancing issues.

"If you joined the game, you’d end up getting shot by people with guns that you couldn’t get," Book-Larsson said. "That's not really a good retention model. So we’re going to change a lot of the balancing components."

In the new APB, players who would rather not grind for a long time will be able to buy 30 day leases on guns that will be comparable to the weapons "hardcore" players gain through hours of hard work. “It’s not the same gun," Book-Larsson said. "But it’s similar to what you’re being shot with by the other people... Our goal is to make it so that free players who refuse to pay still have a decent experience, but those who do micro-transactions, and buy these micro-transaction guns, get a little bit of an edge.”

As for any other changes in the pipeline for APB, GamersFirst was remaining tight-lipped, although the company's goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible for existing players. "Most likely they will be able to reclaim their old characters," Book-Larsson said.

If you missed out on the retail APB, 2011 will bring you a chance to play it for free, which is, I think you will agree, the best price. So what do you think -- is APB perfect for a micro-transaction game? Did GamersFirst get a good deal on the APB IP?

APB Finds A Home: MMO Relaunch Coming In Early 2011


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