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 …
"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.
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.
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.
The beta was the same. They didnt listen. It was dire and didnt change for launch. Shame for the people who paid for this.
... it's a shame for the 250+ people who lost their jobs and haven't been paid since the 25th of July.
This game was a Crash Smash (the Speccy conversion anyway).
I'm not surprised!
I'm not surprised considering how they permanently banned me for fraud. Turns out, it was their invoicing system that was performing the fraud! After straightening it around with my credit card company, filing several disputes, and receiving a full refund from Electronic Arts, a gentleman by the name of John Arsenault phoned me. At first he was willing to over look the fraud if I paid more money to their company. After supplying proof the issue was their system, I never heard anything back... not even really a formal apology.
It's kinda sad though, the game was really fun for the first 3 days I was able to play. I beta tested it so I had a bit of a head start over more new players. Fun to be in a large zerg-like group just smashing and blowing up cars with the rocket launcher. I truely hope Epic does buy the game as I would be willing to play it again if it was in the handles of a more reputable company (such as Epic).
The game wasn't too badly flawed in idea, but it just needed more personality. And content. And the ability to run smoothly ona mid-power GPU and quad-core CPU.
The Model and item customisation were excellent.
At least PlanetSide is still running (Looking forward to PlanetSide 2 SOE - don't fuck it up!)
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.