GamersFirst Buys APB – Relaunching it as F2P
K2 Network, the company that runs the free to play portal GamersFirst, has acquired the rights to All Points Bulletin (APB) from the original developer Realtime Worlds. An official announcement will be made later in the week, but word of the deal was first made public on November 11th, 2010. K2 Network payed £1.5 million for APB (~$2.4 million dollars), which is significantly less than the develop costs of the game.
GamersFirst was one of the first major free to play portals in America and publishes some well know f2p titles including War Rock, Sword 2, and Knight Online. This isn’t the first time they’ve swooped up a defunct game. After Acclaim was shuttered, GamersFirst picked up the rights to 9Dragons.
APB was originally launched as a retail game that required a monthly subscription to access many of its features. Despite having great character customization and other original features, the MMOFPS didn’t last long. Hopefully it will fare better as a free to play game. I know I’ll give it a chance now that its going free. APB will relaunch as APB Reloaded on GamersFirst sometime in the first half of 2011.
Irvine, Calif., November 16, 2010 – GamersFirst (www.gamersfirst.com) today’s most popular Free2Play® MMO publisher, announces that Reloaded Productions, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Gamersfirst, has acquired all the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for the massively multiplayer online third-person shooter game “APB: All Points Bulletin,” previously developed and owned by Dundee-based Realtime Worlds Ltd.
In September 2010, the joint administrators, Ken Pattullo and Paul Dounis, from business and restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor, said efforts to rescue Realtime Worlds had been unsuccessful but renewed efforts were made to conclude a sale of the IPR.
“We are obviously very happy to have concluded the sale but at the same time very much regret the loss of jobs as a result of the closure of Realtime Worlds,” said Paul Dounis of Begbies Traynor. “As a consequence of the IPR asset sale all outstanding wages and holiday pay claims will be met in full. GamersFirst is a pioneer in the free-to-play space, thus APB will be re-launched as a free-to-play model game rather than the previous retail model. People who previously bought the game can now look forward to playing it again once it’s back online.”
“The acquisition of APB is an important complement to our main Free2Play™ third-party publishing business,” says Joshua Hong, CEO of GamersFirst. “We believe in putting our gamers first by encouraging the community to tell us what they like or dislike and then incorporate that feedback into our evolutionary development process. The core principle is to completely eliminate all economic barriers for gamers to experience our games.”
GamersFirst will publish APB: Reloaded as a AAA Free2Play™ title, developed by US based Reloaded Productions Inc. using Unreal Engine 3.
“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,” says Bjorn Book-Larsson, CTO and COO of GamersFirst, and responsible for GamersFirst’s studio and game development efforts. “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 will share more details in the near future. In order to put “Gamers First” we will also actively engage the community in many aspects of all the planned changes.”
APB: All Points Bulletin is a massively multiplayer online third-person shooter game based in the modern-day fictional city of San Paro featuring two factions, Enforcers and Criminals. Players can join either faction, and then form their own customized team and group to join the constant battle across the urban landscape.
GamersFirst and Reloaded Productions plan to launch the next chapter of APB in the first half of 2011.
GamersFirst is the leading Free2Play MMO game publisher in the Western hemisphere. GamersFirst.com serves more than 30 million players in over 160 countries with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. GamersFirst.com features the hit MMOG’s Knight Online, Sword2, War Rock and 9Dragons and the future hits Hukumdar Online:Battle of Kings, MKZ, Victory and Taikodom: Living Universe. Read more about the company and its games at http://www.GamersFirst.com.
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