Realtime Worlds Gutted and on Sale, APB Support Will Continue

By Alice O'Connor, Aug 19, 2010 5:53am PDT The workforce at Crackdown and APB creator Realtime Worlds' main office in Dundee, Scotland has been slashed from 210 to only 53 after the dev entered administration on Tuesday, business rescue and restructuring firm Begbies Traynor confirmed today.

"We very much regret the redundancies that we have had to make," joint administrator Paul Dounis said in a press release. A further 28 jobs have been lost at the Colorado offices, where only 14 staff now remain.

Begbies Traynor is now seeking to sell the company. "We are actively pursuing all these expressions of interest which have come from both the UK and US," Dounis said.

The restructing focused on allowing APB to continue to run and be supported, because presumably it's one of Realtime Worlds' few active revenue streams. Somewhat similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the USA, administration allows a company to continue running while an external administrator comes in to turn the company profitable.

According to Begbies Traynor, creditors in the UK are owed £3 million ($4.7 million US). It has been rumoured that APB might have cost as much as $100 million.

"We want to offer reassurance to gamers that APB will not only continue as an online service but will be improved and supported 100% during this restructure," said Dounis. A new patch, currently available on the Public Test World, is bringing changes including a new vehicle handling model, balance tweaks and matchmaking changes.

The news would seem to confirm rumours that the team behind Project: MyWorld has been let go as development is clearly no longer the main focus.

Meanwhile, monolithic publisher Activision, Blitz Games Studios and The Creative Assembly have announced they are holding recruiting events in Dundee to swoop up the now-unemployed developers. TCA is hiring for its yet-unannounced "AAA" console title as well as the Total War strategy franchise.

UK games industry trade association TIGA has unveiled an "action plan" for the Scottish games industry, calling for "decisive action" from the government.

"We still hope that Realtime Worlds will find a buyer. Whether this transpires or not, we need action to ensure that our video games industry comes through the current turmoil in as strong a shape as possible," said TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson.

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