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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  • They should have just made Crackdown 2. It would have been better for them and for us gamers.

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      • They took years to make the APB crap. Ruffian had around a year (maybe less) to make Crackdown 2. I doubt whatever RTW's would have had to show for itself after that short a time would have been anywhere near as good as what Ruffian managed. It was a small miracle they wound up with what they did.

        They were given the time to make an expansion pack and an expansion pack is what they delivered. Blame Microsoft for trying to spin it as a sequel because their calendar was slim, their exclusives looked thin, and they didn't have anything else to do BUT spin it that way.

        Besides, most of the people who worked on Crackdown went to Ruffian to work on Crackdown 2, so essentially few were left at RTW that made the original Crackdown. If RTW had been allowed to start Crackdown when they wanted (right after Crackdown 2), then when it released in two weeks from now (because that's how long it would have taken them no doubt), it would have been spectacular. But Microsoft gave Ruffian a specific date and I want you to sit back and ponder why that might be.

        Alan Wake came out in the Spring. A couple months later, you have the release date of Crackdown 2. Three months later, Halo Reach. Two months later, you have Fable. Microsoft couldn't have Crackdown 2 show up at the same time as Alan Wake, Halo Reach, or Fable. So when Ruffian started it late because MS didn't come till late, the release date was locked in. It had to come in the June/July timeframe to be sure it didn't bleed over into either Alan Wake's ...wake or Halo Reach's... reach.

        Unfortunately for Microsoft, Alan Wake had no wake at all, except the wake you have for the dearly departed.