How APB 'Torpedoed' Developer Realtime Worlds

The developer of Crackdown and APB, Realtime Worlds, was recently hit with layoffs. Members of the APB team were axed, as was much of the team developing social gaming software Project MyWorld. So what happened to the promising studio?

According to a commenter at Rock Paper Shotgun going by the name ExRTW, claiming to be a former employee of Realtime Worlds on the Project MyWorld side, it wasn't just one thing that contributed to the studio's demise. The game was delayed multiple times, it didn't have good driving or combat mechanics and was "really a product of fairly directionless creative leadership".

The "real killer," ExRTW writes, was the business model, a decision that was "out of the team's hands".

"The game has issues, but I think if you separate the business model from the game itself, it holds up at least a little better. The problem was that management looked at the revenue they wanted to generate and priced accordingly, failing to realise (or care) that there are literally a dozen top quality, subscription free team based shooters. Many of which, now, have progression and persistence of some sort – for free."

The alleged former employee further blasts Realtime Worlds' management for failing "spectacularly to manage expectations", citing confusion about the game's subscription model, a too-buggy public beta and an intense focus on APB's standout character customisation.

"RTW tried something bold and fucked it up," ExRTW writes. "It tried to make what amounted to two MMOs at once, as well as self-publish. I have to hand it to [studio founder David Jones] . He's ballsy. But in the end, we couldn't do it, and I think the whole company will go under sooner rather than later."

If an accurate portrayal of APB's development at Realtime Worlds, it's a fascinating, disheartening read. But it could also explain a lot.

Redundancies At Real Time Worlds [Rock Paper Shotgun]


    There's only one way to save themselves now...

    Take the goddamn Crackdown lisence back from Ruffian and use their learning experiences here to make Crackdown 3.


    Or even just call it "Crackdown 2" and pretend the other one didn't exist.


    Well I'd have at least bought & tried APB if they're released it in Australia

      I did try it and believe me, you weren't missing out on anything.

      I believe "ABP" stands for "A Paid Beta". It was that bad, keep in mind it was only last week that I had a trial account.

      Realtime Worlds said that you could import the game if you really wanted it, but you can't access the game through AU steam, and on the RTW website it failed to recognize my credit card and email address are "real", not makiing it easy for anyone, so I spent my time in the "Trial" earning money, so that I had enough to buy 500RTW points which would give me an extra month, but when I tried to use the RTW points to upgrade my account I was told I had to buy the game before I could upgrade my account...Fair enough, that wasn't my problem with the game, just a big let-down when the devs say you can import it, but don't offer that service on steam or their site.

      I even had to torrent the game's launcher off a "third party" website just to install the game, as the link I got to download the trial in my inbox was region locked to North America.

      Anyway, The game itself felt like GTAIV online...but Laggy (fair enough AU on US server), Clipping and pop-in issues, to one point where the wall in front of my didn't load, a whole wall of a building.

      After the Tutorial I realized the game couldn't run on my computer on medium (I have a 2.7ghz dual core, 9800gtx+, 4gb ram on win7 64bit), so I switched the game over to low, where it still didn't run well, but better.

      That is when I realized how poor this game is, when you switch to low, it doesn't load in street lights, small obstacles, pedestrians, some buildings etc...

      Considering if you're in a high speed chase, you're not allowed to destroy or touch any of that stuff or you get penalized.

      Also, the fact that some buildings don't load is just terrible.

      The game only has 3 different missions aswell, the car-chase (drive away from police officer for 3 minutes, if you die 3 times you lose), shoot-out (destroy eachother for 5 minutes, team who died most loses) and "capture" (king of the hill in Halo). So that got really boring in the 7 hours I had of trial time, So I just resorted to stealing and selling cars for money, easiest way to get it.

      I guess what i'm saying is, it felt like GTA IV's beta, and while I understand MMO's are always buggy at launch, this felt the worst.

    Just another studio that fell down chasing the MMO dream.

    The announcement of the subscription system is what killed APB instantly.

    It's sad that companies blindly wreck themselves and are finished long before they go to market, without even knowing it.

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