Founded by Grand Theft Auto creator David Jones, Realtime Worlds was responsible for the super-powered open world title Crackdown (X360). The company is currently working on All Points Bulletin (PC, X360).
Alternatively known as APB, the game is an Unreal Engine 3-powered massively multiplayer title that dynamically pits cops against criminals in a vast online city. Featuring extensive character customization and a number of missions, such as robbing an armored truck, the title is expected later this year.
WPP, Maverick Capital, and New Enterprise Associates were the investors named in today's announcement. WPP independently clarified that it had acquired a minority stake of Realtime Worlds for $8.1 million. Two members of NEA attained positions on the studio's board of directors after a $31 million investment in 2006.
Reports of the additional funding initially surfaced a few weeks ago, though no further details or confirmation were available at that time.
Dang that's a lot of money.
APB will be good to see more of, the videos shown at the GDC this year really piqued my interest. Sony's The Agency seemed similarly interesting but its casual PvE focus could easily grow boring. So when APB was announced with creative PvP matchmaking my future MMO hopes jumped ship.
I'm holding my excitement back because, well, it's still an MMO and MMOs typically bring subscription fees. If APB were one-time purchases I would it in a heartbeat. Hopefully its real world setting will allow for rampant in-game advertising to offset server costs; this is certainly one of those games were advertising would be perfectly at home and APB might even feel odd without any. We'll see!