APB "plug to be pulled" within 24 hours

Administrator could not find a buyer.

The Realtime Worlds saga is drawing to an abrupt close, with administrator Begbies Traynor this afternoon confirming industry speculation that the "plug is about to be pulled" on its APB title after failing to attract a buyer.

Just as we were publishing this story, the game's closure was publicly confirmed on the game's site by community officer Ben Bateman.

"Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone's best efforts to keep the service running; APB is coming to a close," said Bateman. "The servers are still up, so join the party and say goodbye!"

Despite interest from 300 interested parties, none of a final shortlist of six were "comfortable with buying it as a live operation," Les Able, spokesperson for Begbies Traynor, told our sister site GamesIndustry.biz this afternoon.

Able added that "staff had been told what the position is", and the online multiplayer title is now expected to be shut down within the next 24 hours.

The administrator now intends to begin a new "marketing process" to try and sell on the game assets and IP. An official announcement is expected tomorrow.

The game, whose commercial failure has been blamed for the Dundee studio's demise, had been maintained by a core team since administrators were called in last month.

Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz today, a source close to Realtime Worlds said: "Despite all the talk, no buyer has been found so it looks like the plug is about to be pulled. We've heard that it could go tomorrow".

The rumours were corroborated by a second, independent development source this afternoon, at which point the administrator was contacted.

In anticipation of the move, GamesIndustry.biz has learned that APB has been removed from the Steam online retail service. The product page link now re-routes to the Steam homepage, while Google's webcache shows the game was on sale as recently as 10th September.

Realtime Worlds is also no longer selling the game or 'RTW Points' via its website, the latter used to purchase items within the game.

The studio has continued to issue updates for the game, with the most recent posting on the official website detailing a new patch due to be rolled out today.

Administrator Begnies Traynor stated last month: "APB will continue as a live service in the US and Europe during restructuring with full game and community support continuing during this period."

The restructuring firm further released user data it said showed "healthy numbers" which "reflect positively on APB" as it sought a buyer for the online multiplayer action game.

But it is understood that all negotiations failed to attract a committed investor.

GamesIndustry.biz revealed last month that Realtime World's other major title in development, Project MyWorld, was set to be acquired along with core staff to form a new Dundee studio, in a venture understood to be fronted by Psygnosis co-founder Ian Hetherington.

Asked about this status of this deal, Begbies Traynor said it could not comment as there was a "confidentiality agreement in place".

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