APB: All Points Bulletin goes titsup
APB: All Points Bulletin, the new massively multiplayer game, is shutting down and is holding a Wake.
In a statement on the site today, the company said: "The servers are still up, so join the party and say goodbye!
APB's demise is not a surprise: its developer Dundee-based Real Time Worlds went bust last month and 250 jobs went down the pan. So it was in no position to support its baby, released in June to mixed reviews.
Administrators could not find a buyer for APB, but the game may yet live again. according to a BBC source, the US developer Epic Games is in the frame to buy the intellectual property rights for APB.
Administrators sold RTW's other new game Project: My World, a social game, last month, saving 30 jobs.
... it's a shame for the 250+ people who lost their jobs and haven't been paid since the 25th of July.
"is in the frame to buy the intellectual property rights"
I really despise the way companies wait until a target company goes fully titsup before buying up its IP assets. There is absolutely no consideration by the buyer for the welfare of all the people who lost their jobs. As far as the buyer is concerned they want a company to fall to its knees when a particular IP is desirable.
I guess I just hate the way companies play their games without consideration for the individuals involved. If companies would pay a respectable and honest price for IPs they desired instead of letting the target company die first then we'd see small companies properly reiumbursed for their efforts.
Removing all emotion from the equation though, the company who created the IP has failed. There are myriad reasons for why that is but it's a fact. I've done a fair few "what can we rescue from the wreckage" assessment jobs for VC companies and, frankly, a lot of the time the reason for failure is poor management (being average when you needed to be both great and lucky, being poor when being average would have been good enough, having wildly unrealistic cost bases etc.)
Nobody gets a free pass, and, while capitalism probably isn't the best possible system in the world, it is the only workable one we've got.
The shareholders and employees of the buying company have to be considered too.
Check out this blog from one of the ex employees http://lukehalliwell.wordpress.com/ a real interesting read.
It gives a good background why it failed even with 100m in investment.
Re: No respect
I've done quite a few acquisitions of distressed company's. These company's do not deserve to be properly reimbursed, as their business model and/or technology doesn't work. Why would anyone buy the full company and a 250 employee headcount if the company has no chance of making money?
Frankly, iIt is an act of charity to buy the IP at all. Paying customers are worth something, but I suppose it is less than the operating cost of the platform, which is why the buyers are waiting until after the platform is shutdown, and the employees laid off.
If you disagree, you can go ahead and buy it if you like. I get they'd sell the entire company for $0, if you take on the liabilities. What is the severance liability on 250 staff? $2.5M? I bet the creditors would pay you take the company, IP and included, if you took everything.