After five years in development, Realtime Worlds' urban-themed MMOG All Points Bulletin (APB) went live in June 2010, inviting PC gamers to join the conflict between the Enforcers and the Criminals in a modern-day, fictional city called San Parto.
After receiving a lackluster reception, the game's developer restructured itself in July to provide better support for the game. By the middle of August, Realtime Worlds went into administration mode and closed its Colorado office while laying off most of the staff at its central Scotland office. Ultimately 250 jobs were lost altogether.
As of Thursday night, APB officially went offline.
"APB has been a fantastic journey, but unfortunately that journey has come to a premature end," said community officer Ben Bateman. "Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone's best efforts to keep the service running; APB is coming to a close. It's been a pleasure working on APB and with all its players. Together we were building an absolutely amazing game, and for that, we thank you. You guys are awesome! From all of the Realtime World staff we thank you for your continued support."
According to BBC News, APB may be passed on to another developer. Earlier this month, Realtime Worlds sold the intellectual property (IP) rights to its social game Project: My World for an undisclosed amount. The developer is currently trying to do the same with APB, however so far the efforts have failed.
However now reports reveal that one potential buyer was actually named: Epic Games. Naturally, Epic confirmed nor denied the possibility. "Mark absolutely loves APB, and everyone here loved what they saw," said an Epic representative. "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."
As Eurogamer's Johnny Minkley pointed out, Epic built the technology behind the MMOG--it would seemingly require little effort to get the game back up and running again. "Whether the potential is enough to outweigh the challenges of reviving a failed project is another matter," he said.