Defending APB • Page 5

Realtime Worlds' Dave Jones hits back.

Eurogamer: But there has been criticism of the matchmaking, which puts players who haven't played the game as much as others against those who have.

Dave Jones: Correct. So people look at it and say, 'Oh my God, I got ranked up against a rating 200 guy'. Rating 200 means he's played the game more. He could have lost every single mission, and if he'd played long enough he'd still have rating 200. That's how he has access to the equipment he has. But for example, you could have a guy coming quite new who is a very good action player, and he could get threat rating, which is what decides how good you are. It's how many missions you've consecutively won. It's a snapshot in time of how good you are. It's the threat that tells. And that's purely down to skill. If somebody has just won five, 10 missions in a row, he has a high threat rating.

We know and he knows he's a good player because he's just won five or 10 missions in a row. What we choose to do at that point is, if we get somebody who has a lower threat rating, because typically they lose a mission, they win a mission, they lose a mission, then they win a mission, we know he's not as good as that next guy, so we tend to pad out the numbers when we do the matchmaking.

But it's nothing to do with equipment. Equipment actually has very little impact on the game itself. It's more good players understanding the mechanics and have become very good. Especially when you get three or four of them working together as a very good group, they're a formidable match.

Eurogamer: Looking to the future, you've said many times that you want to make a console version of APB. Are we actually going to see a console version of APB? Is it something that's going to happen?

Dave Jones: That won't happen until we have a console publishing partner. That's the only thing that will trigger that.

Eurogamer: Is EA not interested, then?

Dave Jones: Well we haven't had that conversation with them, because we were EAP, and they tend to work with something that's fully funded, along the way, and just needs distribution. Maybe if we spoke to EA directly. But I think the main thing was to get this game live, look at it, see what the good points are that people like. I've often said, if we do a console one it would have to be quite different. It's a different market, different control mechanism.

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Eurogamer: Will you start shopping APB around at some point in the future?

Dave Jones: I don't think it's something we'd say we'd shop around. We're going to stay heavily focused on building upon what we've got. We'll have conversations with people. If there's interest there, then of course we'd love to bring it to console. But I think, quite rightly, the console people are sitting there watching how the game does, how we build upon it, how good the service is, what would be the cost involved in running dedicated servers for console, for example, I don't think anybody's ever done that yet. There are still a lot of things they have to think about.

Eurogamer: We've heard about Microsoft being difficult when it comes to MMOs on Xbox Live. Is that putting you off?

Dave Jones: It's not putting us off. But if there's a publishing partner out there who says we'd love to do a game with dedicated servers and have a hundred players and actually have some life in the online world, then that I think... It's difficult for them to make that decision when they don't have full control over it. At least on PC we had full control. It's our servers in our data centre and there weren't any issues.

Eurogamer: So a console version isn't your immediate concern?

Dave Jones: No, not the immediate one. Our immediate concern is getting some new content out, updating the game and talking about what's coming next.

Eurogamer: Last year you went on record saying you will talk about your second MMO at some point this year. Is that still the case?

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Dave Jones: Hopefully yes. Now we're still focused on APB.

Eurogamer: You have two teams though, right?

Dave Jones: We have two teams, that's right.

Eurogamer: Will we hear about your second MMO at one of the trade shows this year?

Dave Jones: We haven't even decided upon or put too much thought into that to be honest. It's effectively a project that's just quietly in development. We're just focused on APB just now.

Dave Jones is founder and CEO of Realtime Worlds. APB is out now for PC.

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