APB: Reloaded

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Key events

FeatureWhat happened to gaming's Waterworld?

The fall and plummet of APB.

Back in 2008, Realtime Worlds was sitting pretty. A year after the release of the well-received Crackdown, the Dundee-based studio's founder and GTA creator David Jones managed to net $50m for its pet project, the ambitious MMO APB: All Points Bulletin. He was positive about its chances, and given the interest in the project and the pedigree behind it he had every right to be. APB would be the company's first big online game, he thought. Instead, it was to be Realtime Worlds' last.

So, just to clear things up, and flying against Betteridge's law of headlines, the answer is yes. I have played APB Reloaded on Xbox One, and while I can't claim to have tried out everything else on the console I can say with some confidence this is as bad as it gets on Microsoft's machine, for now at least.

Free-to-play APB Reloaded announced for PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Free-to-play APB Reloaded announced for PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Will require Gold subscription, but not PSN.

Free-to-play online multiplayer shooter APB Reloaded is being given a new lease of life on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The new console ports will launch in the "second quarter of 2015" and retain the original PC version's micro-transactions.

You'll need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play on Microsoft's console, but won't need a PlayStation Network sub on Sony's.

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APB Reloaded Review

APB Reloaded Review

Arrested developments?

A deserted storage facility on the cheap side of town. The sun beams down high above it, rendering everything in the colours of affordable breakfast cereal. Welcome to San Paro, the city of 2010's MMO shooter APB and, today, free-to-play MMO shooter APB Reloaded.

All is silent.

Suddenly, a rally car covered in Monster energy drink logos comes flying off the nearby overpass. It crashes into the courtyard of the storage facility, brakes, and a man steps out with the ease of somebody who's just completed a parallel park. He's wearing bright green trousers, a blue shirt and a red cap - colourblind couture. This man is a District Commander of the San Paro police force.

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APB Reloaded open beta goes live

APB Reloaded open beta goes live

Sample resuscitated MMO now.

APB Reloaded's open beta finally launches today following a brief delay last week, adding a bevy of new features to the back-from-the-dead MMO shooter.

Available for download now from developer GamersFirst's website, the beta introduces a brand new skill rating system, redesigned "witnessing" game mechanics and a number new items.

Further improvements are also scheduled for later on in the test phase, including new clan-based combat mechanics aimed at higher level players, matchmaking improvements and new game modes.

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APB Reloaded open beta delayed

APB Reloaded open beta delayed

Groups disconnecting after two hours.

The APB Reloaded beta test was supposed to start yesterday. It didn't. It was delayed.

"We have come across a new player disconnection issue that cropped up in the last 48 hours that has made us put a temporary hold on the launch of open beta until further notice," announced GamersFirst boss Bjorn Book-Larsson.

"The issue manifests itself in disconnecting some groups of players after one to two hours of gameplay, which clearly is not acceptable in open beta.

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David Jones joins APB: Reloaded team

GTA creator to advise on resuscitated MMO.

Realtime Worlds founder David Jones has signed on as an advisor for APB Reloaded - the F2P relaunch of the MMO shooter that brought down his studio.

APB Reloaded open beta date

APB Reloaded open beta date

GamersFirst's revival revs up.

The open beta for APB Reloaded - the re-commissioned and free to play APB - will begin on 18th May.

But there's a good chance of getting an invite before then, providing you do two things: create a GamersFirst account and submit your details to the APB newsletter sign-up page.

GamersFirst is the developer that pulled APB from the Realtime Worlds wreckage. The aim is for APB Reloaded to get running in basic form - i.e. have a working micro-transaction shop - and be built upon thereafter.

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New APB dev on Realtime's mistakes

Bureaucracy blamed for MMO's failure.

As unmitigated disasters go, David Jones' ambitious online shooter APB is right up there. After years in development and more than $100 million of investment it launched to horrid reviews last July, sinking its creator Realtime Worlds after just 37 days on release.

100,000+ sign up for APB beta

100,000+ sign up for APB beta

Numbers "far exceed" expectations.

"Well over" 100,000 applicants have registered for the upcoming closed beta of studio-killing MMO shooter APB: Reloaded, its new custodian has revealed.

In a post on the game's website, Reloaded Productions chief Bjorn Book-Larsson claimed, "we will far exceed the number of people we actually expected or even needed for the first closed beta. But that's clearly great news."

You've still got time to get involved if you're curious - Reloaded will stop taking new applications at 8.00am GMT on 16th February.

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APB Reloaded beta sign-up kicks off

APB Reloaded beta sign-up kicks off

Check out resuscitated MMO first.

Sign-up for a closed APB Reloaded beta – the reanimated version of the disastrous MMO that helped sink Crackdown developer Realtime Worlds - is now underway.

Speaking on the APB Reloaded blog, new custodian GamersFirst has invited interested gamers to register their email address on its site and then create a GamersFirst account.

Two weeks before the beta goes live you'll then get an email asking you for additional data, including your DxDiag ("if you don't know what that is, then you might not be a great closed beta candidate"), information about your system and details of your gaming background. Once that's all done, successful applicants will be emailed a beta key.

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APB Reloaded beta targets February

Beleaguered MMO APB may be ready for testing as a fresh-faced free-to-play game next month, new owner GamersFirst has revealed.

Details on how to apply for the closed beta will release this week, the APB_Reloaded Twitter promised.

K2 Networks (owner of online portal GamersFirst) bought APB for a pittance late last year. Company bigshot Bjorn Book-Larsson couldn't tell Eurogamer the exact sum, but confirmed he'd snapped up the modern day crime MMO at a "huge, substantial discount". Rumour has it that APB cost just $1.5 million - a tiny percentage of the $100 million investment.

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New APB: customising will cost you

MMO's key feature to be monetised.

Character and object customisation was a cornerstone of what APB offered, and new owner GamersFirst realises that - that's why you'll pay for it when the game reappears.

APB to relaunch next year as F2P

APB to relaunch next year as F2P

Failed MMO back from the dead.

Realtime Worlds' failed action MMO APB will relaunch under new management next year.

Reloaded Productions, owned by GamersFirst, bought all the intellectual property rights for APB and plans to relaunch it as a free-to-play game in the first half of 2011.

Those who bought the game will be able to log on again once everything's sorted – you didn't chuck your copy away, did you?

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APB could be turned around in 9 months

But Codemasters Online isn't doing it.

APB as we know it is dead, but Codemasters Online general manager David Solari is convinced it could be turned around - providing someone has "nine months of hard work" to spare.

FeatureThe Fall of Realtime Worlds

An insider speaks out.

"APB has been a fantastic journey, but unfortunately that journey has come to a premature end. Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone's best efforts to keep the service running, APB is coming to a close."

APB patch notes reveal hope

APB patch notes reveal hope

"There appears to be a buyer."

The future of APB may soon be secure: a buyer has been found.

Commentary from the game's patch notes (via Massively) - retweeted by former APB community manager Ben Batemen - claimed "there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for APB".

"The end of the administration process is apparently close and there appears to be a buyer for the game," the patch notes read.

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No APB refunds, but EA offers free games

Administrators and Steam wash hands.

The administrators for Dundee developer Realtime Worlds are not offering refunds to players who bought copies of and subscriptions to its defunct online game APB, and neither is digital distribution service Steam.

APB dev blames demise on "complacency"

$100m and Crackdown's success caused it.

A high-ranking member of the development team that created $100 million catastrophe APB has blamed its demise – and Realtime Worlds' – on complacency.

FeatureRealtime Crisis

The collapse of Realtime Worlds will impact UK development for years to come.

Published as part of our sister-site GamesIndustry.biz's widely-read weekly newsletter, the GamesIndustry.biz Editorial, is a weekly dissection of an issue weighing on the minds of the people at the top of the games business. It appears on Eurogamer after it goes out to GI.biz newsletter subscribers.

APB and Crackdown dev collapses

Realtime Worlds' games to be sold on.

Realtime Worlds, developer of ABP, has gone into administration – the first word coming earlier this afternoon from an employee via Twitter.

Realtime "fully committed to APB"

Scottish developer confirms redundancies.

Scottish developer Realtime Worlds has insisted it remains "fully committed" to action MMO APB after the studio reportedly made 60 staff members redundant.

"Copious" APB to-do list being addressed

RTW: We were preoccupied with launch.

Bravely, Realtime Worlds has called for you to submit a "hit list" of APB features you think need urgent attention. Because now, finally, the developer can do something about them.

RTW needs partner to do console APB

Would love to do it "if there's interest".

Dave Jones has told Eurogamer that Realtime Worlds will need to find a publishing partner in order to do a console version of APB.

FeatureDefending APB

Realtime Worlds' Dave Jones hits back.

APB, the action MMO from Dundee-based developer Realtime Worlds, launched in the UK on Friday. Great things were expected, not least because of the pedigree of the developer behind it. So Eurogamer's review, which criticised the game's combat, vehicle handling and matchmaking before dishing out a less-than-stellar 6/10 score, came as some surprise.

APB

APB

Any cop?

Initially, I blamed the weather. The hottest week of the year, with the blazing sun promising lazy afternoons in London parks with cold beers to hand, is a pretty uncharitable time to start plugging hours into a massively multiplayer game. I was clock-watching, glancing at the time after every couple of missions, wondering if I'd played enough for today and could justify switching off the PC and marching out into daylight.

Within the first ten hours, however, I knew that something was wrong that had nothing to do with the weather. I didn't really want to go out into the dazzling sunshine - I'm Irish, for God's sake, our reaction to the sun makes vampires wince sympathetically - I just wanted a reason to stop playing APB.

In itself, that's not unusual. Game reviewers end up playing all manner of dreadful stuff, and are honour-bound to play for several hours longer than any sane human would ever wish to. Yet APB doesn't tick the boxes that usually point to a bad game. For a start, it's from a studio - Realtime Worlds - whose last game, Crackdown, remains one of my personal highlights of the Xbox 360's catalogue, and whose creative bosses cut their teeth on little projects like, oh, inventing Grand Theft Auto.

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APB to run adverts over voice chat

Pay an extra fee to disable them.

Realtime Worlds' online crime game APB will run advertisements over its voice chat service, with users having the option to pay an additional fee to disable them.

APB Key to the City event delayed

Now begins on Saturday.

Realtime Worlds boss Dave Jones has said that the start of the Key to the City beta event for APB - showcasing much of the game ahead of its launch 2nd July release - has been delayed until Saturday morning.

APB minimum specs revealed

2Ghz, 2GB, 20GB, 7800.

Realtime Worlds has revealed the minimum PC specifications you'll need to play its online crime game, APB.

APB

Bulletin points.

"The biggest obstacle I think APB faces, period, is the difference between what people have put in their heads already and what APB is - because it's so simple and it's so easy to make a comparison to what's out there, to say, oh, it's a GTA MMO."

FeatureRealtime Worlds' David Jones

The APB mastermind, direct from GDC.

David Jones, boss of Dundee's Realtime Worlds, is hanging out on Epic's thronged, buzzing, walled-in stand on the Game Developers Conference show floor. He's been helping Mark Rein hawk the Unreal engine by running live demos of the Unreal-powered APB, direct from the online crime game's beta servers.

APB swings into closed beta

APB swings into closed beta

Testing starts three nights a week.

Kotaku and our forum report that invites have been sent out for the closed beta test for Realtime World's APB.

According to posters on the Eurogamer forum, there are three limited time windows a week at this early stage of testing: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings from 7pm to 11pm, the first hour being resvered for the "Social District" only.

You can still apply for a place on the beta at the APB webiste.

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APB beta opens next week

APB beta opens next week

Realtime Worlds boss confirms.

Realtime Worlds CEO Gary Dale has confirmed that the beta for APB will go live next week.

The exec dated the beta during the Tech Media Invest conference taking place at the Emirates Stadium in London.

The studio began taking applications for the beta last month, with the developer promising to increase the number of participants as the process evolves until launch.

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FeatureAPB

Stop in the game of the law!

Mark Rein, star of the maddest thing we've ever published, is a lot of things. He's a former id Software play-tester. He's a vice president of Epic Games. He's a shameless promoter of Unreal Engine 3. He's a fantastic conversation. Today though, Mark Rein is a cop.

APB beta

APB beta "weeks not months away"

Realtime's crime MMO ready to show colours.

APB, the cops-and-robbers MMO by Crackdown creators Realtime Worlds, will go into closed beta testing within "weeks", a spokesman told Eurogamer at last weekend's Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle.

"We're weeks rather than months away from starting closed beta," community officer Chris Collins told our Tom after showing him an extensive demo of, according to Tom, "slick" gameplay.

APB beta registration is open if you want to stand a chance of trying out some open-world multiplayer driving, shooting, thieving and customising.

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APB beta registration opens

APB beta registration opens

Sign up for online cops and robbers.

Realtime Worlds has opened up applications to take part in the beta test of its hotly anticipated crime MMO, APB.

It's no guarantee of access, naturally, and there's still no word on when the beta might start, although Realtime estimated August when we spoke to them at E3 in June.

APB will be a subscription-free action game set in cities of around 100 players, with factions of gangsters and enforcers chasing and shooting each other around the streets, GTA-style. Console versions have been bandied about, but it's only confirmed for PC release in "early 2010" at the moment, published by EA.

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Jones: APB "has to ship on a DVD"

Not comfortable ditching retail yet.

Realtime Worlds boss Dave Jones has said that he needs Electronic Arts' publishing might because he's "not really comfortable" doing away with retail on a 6GB game.

FeatureAPB

Liberty city.

Let's start with the hardest question to answer. Is APB (All Points Bulletin), the new online game from the makers of Crackdown, an MMO?

E3: Report: APB still heading to 360

Despite no mention in EA release.

APB is still on its way to Xbox 360 as well as PC, despite EA only announcing that it will be publishing the game for "PC in early 2010" at its press conference.

E3: EA to publish Realtime's APB

Crime-themed MMO finds a new home.

At EA's E3 press conference in Los Angeles today, the company has announced that it will be publishing Realtime Worlds' cops versus robbers MMO, APB.

Realtime Worlds hints at APB for E3

Urban MMO ready to reveal?

Realtime Worlds has teasingly suggested to Eurogamer that All Points Bulletin may be shown at E3, which would provide our first real glimpse of the promising urban MMO.

Register your interest in APB

If you want to hear first about the beta.

Realtime Worlds has taken the first baby step towards a beta test for its cops-and-robbers MMO, All Points Bulletin, by offering you a chance to register your interest in the game.

APB is "bastard child" of GTA

Realtime says crime MMO is life's work.

Talking to videogaming247, Realtime Worlds' Colin Macdonald said that crime MMO All Points Bulletin is everything creator Dave Jones has wanted to do since he started work on the first GTA.

APB isn't Realtime's only game

And it's "not that far away".

Speaking to videogaming247 at the Develop Online conference today, Realtime Worlds' Colin Macdonald revealed that the Crackdown developer is making another game alongside crime MMO All Ponts Bulletin.

Realtime Worlds donates to APB site

Fans get USD 1000 for new server.

Realtime Worlds has donated USD 1000 to an All Points Bulletin fansite to help keep it up and running, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Realtime downplays GTA Online talk

As rumours swirl that Rockstar's buying APB.

Eurogamer has been told by a credible industry source that Realtime Worlds bought the All Points Bulletin licence back from publisher Webzen so that it could try and sell it to Rockstar as GTA Online.

APB coming to PS3 too?

"We'll be looking seriously at it."

Realtime Worlds has told GamesIndustry.biz that will be "looking seriously" at the possibility of bringing MMO All Points Bulletin to the PS3.

Jones shows off APB features

Puts Miyamoto in comedy pants.

Realtime Worlds boss Dave Jones has been showing off the huge amount of customisation options featured in forthcoming PC and Xbox 360 title All Points Bulletin.

APB concept trailer

APB concept trailer

Now on Eurofiles.

Korean publisher Webzen has released a new 'concept' trailer for forthcoming PC and Xbox 360 gangbanger, All Points Bulletin. You can download it here.

There's no in-game footage to be seen, but the trailer is designed to offer a taster of what we can expect from APB - namely a bit of car-jacking, a lot of shooting and a vast amount of run-ins with the cops. And it's all being put together by one David Jones, the man behind the original Grand Theft Auto.

APB is due out on PC in 2007, with the Xbox 360 version to follow in 2008. You can read more about the game here.

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