If you were wondering if things could not get worse for Realtime Worlds, the answer is a very sound yes. Today, the plug has been pulled on APB, though there were supposedly around three hundred interested parties. According to Les Able, the spokesperson for Begbies Traynor (administrator of Realtime Worlds), the potential buyers were not “comfortable with buying it as a live operation.” Able added that “the staff knows what the position is” and the title will be shut down immediately, despite the statement that “negotiations with the service provider.” The administrator now plans on a “marketing process” to try and sell the IP to an interested party.
Now, speaking as a writer and gamer, this raises a question in my mind. Who on earth is really going to be interested in the IP when it has done so poorly? Granted, it was a project that was incredibly ambitious, and would have been hit-or-miss with many gamers, but I can’t see publishers really chomping at the bit to pick up the IP. However, it seems that Epic Games (creators of Gears of War and Unreal) may be interested in the IP, for some reason.
Dana Cowley said in a interview with the BBC, ”Mark [Rein] absolutely loves the game, everyone loves what they saw. We’ve got our hands full of Gears of War 3, Bullet Storm and the recently announced Project Sword. If any talks like that are going on, then they would be confidential.”
Well, here’s hoping that at least the folks from Realtime Worlds will have some sort of future in the industry, whether it be collectively or as individuals. They created a fantastic game in the original Crackdown, and the devs did have a good number of talented people under the umbrella.
I think it’s safe to say that there’s no such thing as “recession proof.”