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.
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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.
APB Reloaded has launched on Xbox One as a free-to-download game supported with microtransactions. But there's nothing "micro" about one of these transactions in particular.
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.
APB was an ambitious MMO built by Crackdown dev Realtime Worlds but it flopped, hard. The game died but was resurrected by Reloaded as a free-to-play MMO. We reviewed APB Reloaded last year and it wasn't very good.
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.
APB Reloaded has seen an impressive three million people register to play a week after launching on Steam.
UPDATE: Developer GamersFirst has issued a statement to Eurogamer refuting the Gamespot report.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Resuscitated MMO APB: Reloaded only needs a few thousand simultaneous players to be profitable, new developer GamersFirst has revealed.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
Dead and buried MMO APB has a new owner and an extra life - it will rise again. But how long before we're playing the game we were once promised?
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?
After months of speculation, down-and-out MMO APB finally has a new owner.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
A high-ranking member of the development team that created $100 million catastrophe APB has blamed its demise – and Realtime Worlds' – on complacency.
The APB plot thickened this morning with a new report that suggested Epic Games may buy the luckless online game.
Dundee developer Realtime Worlds has revealed a raft of APB statistics as administrators seek a buyer for the embattled studio.
The staff of Realtime Worlds were told whether they had lost their job via a PA system announcement, it has emerged.
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 service will continue as normal in Europe and the US, despite the recent collapse of developer Realtime Worlds.
APB publisher Electronic Arts has expressed sadness at the demise of Scottish developer Realtime Worlds.
"Business rescue and restructuring" outfit Begbies Traynor has cited "lacklustre demand" for APB as the reason Realtime Worlds fell apart.
Realtime Worlds, developer of ABP, has gone into administration – the first word coming earlier this afternoon from an employee via Twitter.
Scottish developer Realtime Worlds has insisted it remains "fully committed" to action MMO APB after the studio reportedly made 60 staff members redundant.
UPDATE: A community officer called APBMonkey has posted on the European APB forum in response to the current rumour surrounding Realtime Worlds.
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.
Scottish developer Realtime Worlds has announced it will restructure following the release of MMO APB.
Dave Jones has told Eurogamer that Realtime Worlds will need to find a publishing partner in order to do a console version of APB.
Realtime Worlds' Dave Jones has responded to criticism of APB in a wide-ranging interview due to be published on Eurogamer next week.
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.
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.
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.
Tweak your world to perfection.
From how the lobbies work to specific areas.
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.
Realtime Worlds has revealed the minimum PC specifications you'll need to play its online crime game, APB.
Fighting fire with fire.
APB lead designer EJ Moreland has told Develop that the online crime shooter would be "a different game" if it was released on consoles.
He's all about the game. And the T-shirt.
Realtime Worlds has revealed that APB will be released on 29th June in the US and 2nd July in Europe.
"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."
Realtime Worlds has told Eurogamer that its long-term roadmap for APB will see the game change considerably over its lifespan.
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.
EA has said to expect Crytek's first-person shooter sequel Crysis 2 somewhere in the last three months of 2010.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
Realtime Worlds has revealed that urban MMO APB will not require a monthly subscription, as a keen-eyed Eurogamer reader found out.
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.
Ellie is in place. Her coverage will begin shortly.
Realtime Worlds CEO Dave Jones has revealed that the Dundee-based developer - currently hard at work creating online title APB - will release the first details of its second MMO project next year.
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?
Realtime Worlds' urban MMO.
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.
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.
First screenshot whets our appetites.
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.
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.
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.
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 has donated USD 1000 to an All Points Bulletin fansite to help keep it up and running, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Realtime Worlds boss Colin MacDonald has said there is a "misconception" that MMOs are not as good-looking as single-player games.
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.
Realtime Worlds has bought back the global distribution rights to its forthcoming MMO game, APB, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Realtime Worlds has told GamesIndustry.biz that will be "looking seriously" at the possibility of bringing MMO All Points Bulletin to the PS3.
Crackdown developer Realtime Worlds has secured USD 50 million of financing, according to TechCrunch.com.
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.
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.