Updated: 23rd November 2010
REALTIME Worlds joint administrators Ken Pattullo and Paul Dounis, of business rescue and restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor, have sold the intellectual property rights (IPR) for on-line third person ‘enforcers and criminals’ game APB: All Points Bulletin to a subsidiary of US-based GamersFirst.
The massively popular multiplayer video game was previously developed and owned by Dundee-based Realtime Worlds Ltd which went into administration three months ago.
APB: All Points Bulletin is based in the modern-day fictional city of San Paro featuring the two factions. Players can join either faction, and then form their own customised team and group to join the constant battle across the urban landscape.
“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.
"As a consequence of the IPR asset sale almost 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."
Joshua Hong, CEO of GamersFirst said: “The acquisition of APB is an important complement to our main Free2Play™ third-party publishing business. 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. They plan to launch the next chapter of APB in the first half of 2011.
"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.”
Julie is a law graduate who qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1994. Julie joined Smith & Williamson in 1997 and became a partner in 2001. With Mike Stevenson, Julie set up Middleton Partners offices in Salisbury and Southampton, both of which are now part of Begbies Traynor.
Julie is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and is a Fellow of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Julie deals with all aspects of Corporate Recovery and turnaround work and takes all form of personal insolvency appointments.