APB: Reloaded dev reveals sign-up targets

"Our break-even point is really very low."

Resuscitated MMO APB: Reloaded only needs a few thousand simultaneous players to be profitable, new developer GamersFirst has revealed.

COO Bjorn Book-Larsson told Eurogamer that its targets were relatively modest compared to what now-defunct original developer Realtime Worlds needed to break even.

"We don't officially talk about the revenues we need but I think a realistic number is that if we see a few thousand simultaneous players in the game that's probably all we need to make it profitable," he explained.

"If we cross 10,000 simultaneous players that's really good news. If we get to 200,000 that's great. But our break even point, compared to where it was, is really very low."

However, Book-Larsson added that, as a free-to-play title, it will take much longer to ascertain exactly how successful the relaunch is.

"With free-to-play you have about a 12 month ramp-up time. Unlike with boxed products where within 30 days of launch you know whether it's going to make it or not, here it's the opposite," he insisted.

"We will launch this and get a certain number of players and the expectation is that over the next 12 months we'll grow it to a plateau level. So we don't anticipate the peak of whatever is possible until we've gone through a couple of cycles of content additions."

According to Book-Larsson, APB was seeing around 18,000 simultaneous users at its peak during its initial release, although it was designed to handle between 60 and 70,000. He explained that many of those players have come back to check out the APB: Reloaded closed beta, which kicked off earlier this month.

"When it crashed, the number of people who had played the game I think was about 300,000 in total. In comparison, we've had 150,000 sign ups for the closed beta. Out of that batch about half had played the game before and half were new additions.

"So we were able to recapture a huge chunk of those who've played it. Which is good news because that implies they are at least very interested to see what's happened to the game."

GamersFirst picked up the ambitious action MMO late last year after its original developer, Realtime Worlds, went under following a lacklustre launch. It has spent the last few months tweaking the gameplay and bringing it over from a subscription model to free-to-play.

A full open beta is scheduled to launch in the summer.

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