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Realtime Worlds'  All Points Bulletin  To Close
Realtime Worlds' All Points Bulletin To Close
September 16, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

September 16, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
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Just two months after its rocky launch, Realtime Worlds' PC online crimeworld game All Points Bulletin will close, amid the heavy blows of its developer's ongoing administration.

"APB has been a fantastic journey, but unfortunately that journey has come to a premature end," wrote community officer Ben Bateman on the game's official message boards. "Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone's best efforts to keep the service running, APB is coming to a close."

Original Crackdown house Realtime Worlds ramped up massively in the development of APB. In May 2009, the Scottish developer said its headcount hit 250, and offices covered 34,000 square feet of space total, and in August 2009 it opened a new office in Dundee, shooting to grow to 300 employees by year end.

But APB received an immediately poor critical reception, scoring just a 53 average on Metacritic alongside critical complaints that it was buggy, felt unfinished and was not compelling.

Shortly thereafter came difficulties for the developer, which laid off staff just a month after launch, citing the need to shift resources to live support for the title. Another set of layoffs shortly followed, leading up to the news that the studio had to enter administration.

Administrator Begbies Traynor said it hoped to find a buyer for APB and keep it live, claiming the game had 130,000 users and "healthy" player spend -- but that's clearly not to be. Realtime Worlds' second project, a social virtual environment in progress called My World, has reportedly been picked up by an anonymous U.S. buyer, but it remains unknown whether that buyer has purchased the entire project with plans of continuance, or merely the IP and build.

Realtime Worlds says that its servers are still running for the time being, encouraging players to "say goodbye."


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Comments


Jonathan Jennings
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wow, this truly sucks and is one of the reasons I have never been a fan of MMO's, the game seemed so cool when I saw previews of it and the E3 presentation however it looks like the final product needed more developement time

Merc Hoffner
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After 5 years, time probably wasn't the root critical issue.

Josh Green
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While I'm no fan of the game, I'm still very sad to see this happen. It looks like they're so in the hole they can't even afford to keep the lights on.

Lo Pan
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As I have mentioned in the past, surviving in the current industry climate demands that the dev and publisher exceed consumer/media/analyst expectations. Mediocrity usually results in failure and administration.

Ardney Carter
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Sucks to hear this. I kept hearing remarks here and there that the game was a mess but I still wanted to try it for myself since the original concept intrigued me. Too bad I couldn't get my rig fixed in time.

Paul Lazenby
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Expect lawsuits on this. It's my understanding that RTW's executive core gutted the company, and made some absolutely abysmal decisions on the development of the property.

I feel really bad for the employees, and I'd imagine some of them may have a case for bringing lawyers in.

Alan Rimkeit
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You think so? If that is true then I hope they do because it looks like they call got the very very short end of the stick.

Merc Hoffner
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There may not be much left to compensate them with.

Alan Rimkeit
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Wow, that was fast. I feel bad for the hard working people who made this all happen. What a huge bag of rocks they were all handed..... :(

Kelly Johnson
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Eerily reminiscent of Flagship Studios and Hellgate London. It is unfortunate when developers have to lay off people because it is usually the result of poor decision making by the management who are desperately trying to meet unrealistic publisher expectations and fulfill contractual obligations. Gaming has become like any other business industry. In the end it's all about the bottomline.

Joshua Sterns
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I would be pissed if I payed any sort of money for this MMO. What a rip off.

Matt Ross
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and ANOTHER developer bites the dust over an MMO... "if Blizzard, one of the biggest and one of the best game developers in the world can do it... how hard can it be?"



feel sorry for the people who bought it.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/30469/Realtime_Worlds_All_Poin
ts_Bulletin_To_Close.php

Ian Uniacke
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Agreed...it's silly to take on the task of making an mmo unless you know you can bankroll the production and lose all the money.



But I do still feel sorry for the devs and wish them the best of luck getting their career back on track.

Marc Bell
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Sad news, but I honestly don't understand how they got the green light for this to begin with. To me it seemed like an obvious disaster in the making.

David Rodriguez
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I'm sure the manager who suggested other plans is now saying something along the lines of "told you so".

Glenn Sturgeon
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Thats as fast as i've ever heard of an mmo title going under after launch.

Hellgate lasted alot longer & has since been revived in korea.(or so i've read)

Jono Hunt
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It's a shame that a studio can't get support to make their project actually happen (IE: fix all the bugs during due process and not rush).



If we want to see UK studios survive, then that government better get on some tax incentives and realize it will help strengthen the economy in the long run.

Stephen Cunha
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Just bought the game 3 days ago... gee wiz. Wasn't expecting much, but I did have some positive experiences (setting the negatives aside).



* Tools for texturing your character in game.

- They were innovative; really simple and fun. I was pleased with the outcome and I was looking forward to more.



* Hopping fences and running across roof tops being chased by cops was an attractive exhilerating thought, I had a taste of it wanted more(not in real life) but was denied.



* Social Area/lobby separate from gaming area

- Could I log into the game just to customize my character and not have to pay? How odd, but I like it (if true)



* Pay for time instead of monthly subscription fee?

- Could this be a more reasonable pay scheme opposed to the rediculous 15 bucks a month that WoW (and others) get away with?

Charles Forbin
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This is why we Elder Scrolls fans fear a possible Elder Scrolls MMO.



Although I wouldn't say no to online co-op in ES5.

Arjen Meijer
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Shooters and MMO users don't overlap as much... plus the game was pretty bad to begin with.

Still sad to see they likely didn't have enough time to polish the game.

Michael Bickel
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Wow, I don't get how you can burn so much money and people if you dont know how your target-market looks like. That was a rather expensive shot in the dark.

Matthieu Poujade
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Hey guys, there is still plenty of operational jobs to be found in Dublin.



We need more people to share pints after work with. :)


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