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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.

Specifically, if you want to save or share your customisations then you'll need to shell out.

"Instead of limiting what you can customise as a free player, you will be allowed to customise almost anything, but you will not be able to store (and share) complex customisations above a certain level unless you are a Premium player AT THE TIME OF CUSTOMISATION," wrote GamersFirst boss Bjorn Book-Larsson on his blog.

"This has several benefits: first it would limit the amount of content pushed to everyone else in the game from free players (which would reduce the amount of loading required); it also lets you be Premium for just one month, create a lot of customisations that month, and then use those items later on (even if your Premium membership has lapsed)."

He added: "We presume that some incredibly talented artists will squeeze the living daylights out of the Basic complexity cap no matter what we set this at. In other words, whatever we set this cap at, we expect people to make some fantastic designs using every possible trick in the book, and then those who are really focused on their characters will clearly be very compelled to get Premium status."

GamersFirst (offspring of K2 Networks) was announced as the new owner of APB earlier this month. The tragic MMO will return to life in the first-half of 2011 as a free-to-play game, having undergone critical maintenance to change the business model and address some glaring bugs.

The majority of work, however, will be done once the game is up and running. Bjorn Book-Larsson told Eurogamer that it could take up to five years for APB to reach its full potential.

Did you play APB, Eurogamer reader? Are you prepared to give it a second chance?

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Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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