It looks like the whispers in the alleys are true - soon you'll be able to patrol (or terrorize, if you'd prefer) the streets of San Paro again.
Amid rumors from GamesIndustry.biz that K2 Network has made a £1.5 million purchase of the intellectual property of All Points Bulletin, the gangwars-shooter MMO from Realtime Worlds, finally some closure comes through. In a press release today, Reloaded Productions, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Gamersfirst (itself a free-to-play service owned by K2 Network), has in fact acquired the full intellectual property rights for the failed MMO.
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."
GamersFirst looks to publish APB as a free-to-play title, as opposed to its initial subscription-based model. "The core principle is to completely eliminate all economic barriers for gamers to experience our games," says Joshua Hong, CEO of GamersFirst.
"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."
GamersFirst and Reloaded Productions plan to launch the next chapter of APB in the first half of 2011.