APB: RIP

All Points Bulletin was an MMO full of promise, awesome ideas and some unfortunate business decisions – but, today, all of that is resigned to history as Realtime Worlds announce they are closing the doors on the troubled game.

In a post on the APB website, community officer Ben Bateman has compiled a bunch of quotes from various people associated with the project – including Dave Jones, founder of Realtime Worlds and co-founder of DMA Design (now Rockstar North). Most people seem to believe that the game was still falling short of its amazing potential, and that it needed just a bit more work to really make it. “I genuinely believe that given more time, we could have turned APB into the game we all wanted it to be,” explains gameplay programmer Bryan Robertson.

“I truly wish we had the chance to continue to craft APB into the vision we had for it. It has been a long & difficult journey but ultimately rewarding to have had the chance to try something bold and different. APB holds some great memories, from the last night of the beta, to the clans and individuals who amazed us with their creativity and sense of community. I am so sorry it had to end so quickly but hopefully the good memories will stay with us all for a long time. Thanks to all the team for the years of hard work, and to the players who contributed so much.”
– Dave Jones

[img_big]center,12,2010-09-16/APB_19.jpg,All dressed up…[/img_big]

“Working on APB was rewarding, frustrating, amazing, depressing, exciting, and overall, surreal. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, but I’ve enjoyed it all the way. I hope the players enjoyed the time they had despite the short comings, and will remember the game in a good light for what it was meant to be, not quite what it turned out to be. Now just to get started on that Xbox version…”
– Jon McKellan (the guy who did the loading screens)

“Press F to apply for Jobseekers Allowance.”
– Ben Hall (Development QA)

[img_big]center,12,2010-09-16/all_points_bulletin_screenshots_2.png,…and nowhere to go.[/img_big]

“In every way APB was a dichotomy. I have witnessed the project alter from a fragile and delicate entity used to show the world the depth of our vision through to the sturdy beast we released to the public. There were the unusual errors and crashes which are to be expected but it worked. Once in the hands of our community I have never seen something elicit such a polarisation of people. It was dismissed as overhyped and broken or else taken to heart to be loved and cherished, buoyed on by a fanaticism I was proud to have played a part in bringing to the world. Although still again among our players APB brought out both the poles in human behaviour. I bore witness to raw hatred and fury, arrogance and mean spirits but I was also delighted to experience the kindest side of human nature as players came to the aid of others when in a tight spot or they created works of art with the tools provided.

In all APB was a fantastic experience with an incredible team and it is one that I will always cherish and has added to who I am. Thank you everyone involved from our excellent players to our incredible dev team.”
– Conor Crowley (Senior QA, System design assistant, Tech support, in-game support, Overall CS, 1 man Publishing QA team, Tea Boy, Morale Officer)

Who knows what this means for the APB fans? I’d really love to see the technology picked up by someone else and left free-to-play, but there’s been no (public) discussions of that at this stage. Probably, it will just drift off into the great unknown, and gamers will look back at the mere 80 days it was online and think of what might have been… (or, y’know, curse that ill-fated decision to buy a lifetime subscription. Poor value for money!)

Meanwhile, the servers are still running, and the game is free until they’re closed, so if you’ve got an account, go sign in and have a play: it’s going to be one hell of a party.

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