APB Shutting Down

By Alice O'Connor, Sep 16, 2010 9:52am PDT Hugely troubled Scottish developer Realtime Worlds has announced that its cops vs. robbers MMO APB is shutting down, less than three months after it launched.

"Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone's best efforts to keep the service running, APB is coming to a close," community officer Ben Bateman wrote on the official APB site, urging that "The servers are still up, so join the party and say goodbye!"

A number of Realtime Worlds employees offered thoughts on APB's shutdown in the post, including company founder Dave Jones, who composed the following eulogy.

I truly wish we had the chance to continue to craft APB into the vision we had for it. It has been a long & difficult journey but ultimately rewarding to have had the chance to try something bold and different. APB holds some great memories, from the last night of the beta, to the clans and individuals who amazed us with their creativity and sense of community. I am so sorry it had to end so quickly but hopefully the good memories will stay with us all for a long time. Thanks to all the team for the years of hard work, and to the players who contributed so much.

The news seems to come somewhat out of the blue as only yesterday a post on the site revealed plans to release a new patch today. However, it can't be entirely a surprise considering Realtime Worlds' recent financial woes.

The developer laid off the team behind its "3D social gaming experience" Project: MyWorld in August and soon after entered administration. The administrator, Begbies Traynor, quickly laid off the majority of employees and revealed plans to restructure with a focus on running APB. Begbies Traynor claimed then that APB had over 130,000 registered users playing an average of four hours per week, with paying players spending an average of $28 per month on subscription fees and in-game microtransactions. Evidently, this wasn't enough.

With Realtime Worlds gutted, Project: MyWorld was sold to an anonymous US company and APB shut down, this is looking an awful lot like the end, my friend.

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