Confirmed: APB Is Alive and Will Be Free-to-Play

So it looks like that thing I was talking about last week — that thing about a free-to-play company buying the rights to APB — was totally right. I say this because there is now a press release that says so. The game is now the property of K2 Network and GamersFirst, and they’ve renamed the thing APB: Reloaded, which is probably appropriate. So yeah, this means the game will be free to play, obviously, and they’re looking at an early 2011 relaunch.

So, yeah, Press release!

Irvine, Calif., November 16, 2010 – GamersFirst (www.gamersfirst.com) today’s
most popular Free2Play® MMO publisher, announces that Reloaded Productions,
Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Gamersfirst, has acquired all the Intellectual
Property Rights (IPR) for the massively multiplayer online third-person shooter
game “APB: All Points Bulletin,” previously developed and owned by Dundee-based
Realtime Worlds Ltd.

In September 2010, the joint administrators, Ken Pattullo and Paul Dounis, from
business and restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor, said efforts to rescue Realtime
Worlds had been unsuccessful but renewed efforts were made to conclude a sale of
the IPR.

“We are obviously very happy to have concluded the sale but at the same time very
much regret the loss of jobs as a result of the closure of Realtime Worlds,” said Paul
Dounis of Begbies Traynor. “As a consequence of the IPR asset sale all outstanding
wages and holiday pay claims will be met in full. GamersFirst is a pioneer in the free-
to-play space, thus APB will be re-launched as a free-to-play model game rather
than the previous retail model. People who previously bought the game can now look
forward to playing it again once it’s back online.”

“The acquisition of APB is an important complement to our main Free2Play™ third-
party publishing business,” says Joshua Hong, CEO of GamersFirst. “We believe in
putting our gamers first by encouraging the community to tell us what they like
or dislike and then incorporate that feedback into our evolutionary development
process. The core principle is to completely eliminate all economic barriers for
gamers to experience our games.”

GamersFirst will publish APB: Reloaded as a AAA Free2Play™ title, developed by US
based Reloaded Productions Inc. using Unreal Engine 3.

“APB was a game that had several exceptional features and some brilliant ideas,
even though it was plagued by some initial balance and monetization issues,” says
Bjorn Book-Larsson, CTO and COO of GamersFirst, and responsible for GamersFirst’s
studio and game development efforts. “We want to take all the unique features of
this title, such as its unparalleled character, weapon and car customization systems, and convert the game to a true free-to-play game. We are deep into the planning
and early execution stages for this next chapter of APB and we will share more
details in the near future. In order to put ‘Gamers First’ we will also actively engage
the community in many aspects of all the planned changes.”

APB: All Points Bulletin is a massively multiplayer online third-person shooter game
based in the modern-day fictional city of San Paro featuring two factions, Enforcers
and Criminals. Players can join either faction, and then form their own customized
team and group to join the constant battle across the urban landscape.

GamersFirst and Reloaded Productions plan to launch the next chapter of APB in the
first half of 2011.

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