Why APB Failed : Gaming’s $100,000,000 Failure
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Why APB Failed : Gaming’s $100,000,000 Failure

August 24, 2019


(Video game beeping) – [Narrator] This video was
sponsored by Pixel Empire. If you’re interested in
decorating your room or office with some super cool gaming and
movie themed posters and art check the link in the description below and use code ROBOKAST
for 10% off your order. The gaming industry has come
a long way since its birth. It’s crazy to think how
video games have transitioned from two rectangles and a square
bouncing across the screen to an industry worth
nearly 100 billion dollars. With so much money to be made, the stakes for game development are higher than they’ve
ever been in the past and bigger companies have been spending more and more money to
create the next big thing. I mean, games like GTA five
cost over $265 million to create and many other games have
followed this same trend, but with great risk comes great reward and a majority of these games
that have these insane budgets end up making even more
than what was put into them and it pays off in the end and yes that sounds good, but
that’s not always the case. Flashback to 2005. A company known as Realtime Worlds began thinking about a new project and it was one that had potential to revolutionize online games and worlds. It sounded cool. I mean, the company that was
working on this new project was founded by David Jones, the mastermind behind the very
first Grand Theft Auto game. So, it had to be a good game. This new project would be
know as All Points Bulletin, referred to as APB. APB was planned to be something unlike anything ever seen at the time and it had potential
to be absolutely huge. In fact, it received nearly
$100 million dollars in funding, making it still one of the most expensive games ever developed. But as time went on, the game
would fail quite drastically making it into a $100 million mistake that would ultimately result in the demise of the very company that made it. So what really happened
here and how could something with such a big budget and so much hype completely fail at
delivering what it promised? We’re gonna be talking about
the full story and more in today’s video, Why APB Failed. Realtime Worlds was a company that was created by David Jones who went on to make
the first two GTA games and the original Crackdown game. He had great ideas and
his creations have had a lasting impact on what
modern games have become. So in 2005, when work had begun
on a new title known as APB, expectations were very high. APB was gonna basically be an MMO version of Grand Theft Auto set in a huge open world with
a constant battle going on between one side known as the enforcers and the opposing side
known as the criminals. The map was supposed to be huge
and character customization was unlike anything ever seen at the time. There were random robberies, gang wars, territory claims,
notoriety levels, factions, and so much more that
made everything feel real and added a sense of life to the world. It would’ve been amazing
and if it was done properly, it could’ve been as big
as GTA Online is today. APB was initially supposed to be a title that was planned for the XBOX 360 and it was gonna put
Realtime Worlds on the map as a game development company. A trailer was released in E3 at 2005, but it was a super low-key announcement that really didn’t hold much excitement. I mean, it looked cool and it
was planned to release in 2007 but that was about it. Time went on. 2007 passed and the game was pretty much forgotten about until 2008 when
David Jones talked about it during the game developers conference. The crazy thing was that Jones said that the game would be coming
out in the same year, 2008. This is crazy in game development
and it very rarely happens so it comes as no surprise to know that people were pretty excited. During this initial showcase of the game, Jones showed off a bunch of aspects that would make APB unique and they were really cool concepts. He first showed off the depth
of the character customization demonstrating how you
can change everything from how pronounced your
character’s veins are to placeable tattoos that had no limit as to where you can put them. People loved this and
it’s still one of the best character customization systems
that gaming has ever seen. He then talked about the
main focus of the game and how there would be no levels. The concept on progression
would be put into cosmetics and your character would
begin to look cooler as you played more. Finally, there would be a
lot of user-created content that would be put into the game. Every character that was in the world would be user-created and
players could even import custom music onto the
radio stations in game. It was a game that was
way ahead of its time and after this conference,
IGN made a first look blog and lots of gamers around the world would begin to follow the
progress made on this game. The next update was made by
developers in April of 2008 and it was an announcement stating that Realtime Worlds had
raised over $50 million to go towards their
projects, mainly meaning APB. For comparison, Realtime
Worlds first game, Crackdown, was only $20 million to develop. So the initial funding for APB
was already more than double the amount used to develop
their previous game and Crackdown had a
meta critic score of 83 which is really good. So everything was looking
great for this new endeavor. As time went on, nothing
else was really said and it seemed like a
delay was unavoidable. At E3 2009, another trailer
was shown for the game and the release date was
moved back again to 2010. It appeared as if Realtime Worlds had been jumping around
trying to find a publisher and they actually managed to pick up EA which was really good, but in press release given by EA, it was exposed that the
game would no longer be coming to XBOX 360 and that
it would be a PC exclusive. People questioned why Realtime Worlds never said anything about this and why it only slipped up because of EA, but the developers doubled
down on what they said and told everyone once again that the game was gonna be
developed for the XBOX 360. At this point, more game play was released and there were even some
demos made by the developers. The hype around the
release began to pick up and it was confirmed to
be coming out in 2010. It also stated that it would not be a subscription based game
like many other MMOs, but that the developers
were not quite sure as to what they would be
charging for the game yet. Then, another announcement was given, stating that the game
would be a PC only release. It seemed like the platform
that it was being released on was jumping around like crazy and every time someone would get excited about it coming to XBOX, it
would be switched back to PC. It was definitely an irritating
thing to some people, but the game was still looking promising. Late 2009 is when the
real excitement happened and the game announced
an upcoming closed beta. Then there was an open beta
in the beginning of 2010 and everything was ready for launch. The game would be sold for 49.99 and then after 50 hours of game play, the player would have to pay
an additional seven dollars per 20 hours of game play
that was added to the game or if the player wanted, they could buy a 30 day
unlimited pass for around $10. Now this is definitely
a unique business model and I don’t think I’ve ever really seen anything quite like it. I know a lot of people
didn’t really agree with it, but I don’t really know my thoughts on it, I can’t put my opinion in this video because I pretty much don’t have one. I do wanna know what you guys
think of this plan though, so please let me know
in the comment below. The game officially
launched on June 29, 2010 and it didn’t really go as planned. It ended up with a terrible
score of 58 on meta critic and almost instantly, things
were not looking very good. The total cost of development
of this game was $100 million which is a super hefty budget and unless things turned
around rather quickly, Realtime Worlds would have a
huge problem on their hands. The game felt unfinished and rushed. It wasn’t the best looking
and there were tons of glitches and bugs that
appeared everywhere for players. Plus there were some
sketchy business practices that happened to Realtime Worlds. They placed a review embargo where nobody can put
reviews out for the game until around after a week
after the game launched. They stated that their reasoning behind it was that they wanted critics
to experience the full game before posting a review, but it still sketched a lot of people out. During this time, there was a small window that the developers could’ve used to fix these launch day issues, but unfortunately, not much
was done to deal with them. There were some patches and small updates that attempted to fix a
few things here and there, but nothing drastic and the
game still lacked overall. Because of this, as time went on, the company began to struggle financially and I mean there was
really no way to avoid it. The development of this
game costed the same amount as the budget given to Flint, Michigan by EPA for their water problem. So an unsuccessful end product will obviously result in
some financial losses. This continued and on August 17th, 2010, Realtime Worlds was
placed into administration which is extremely similar to bankruptcy in the United States. They began to search for
a buyer for the company in order to keep everything running, but while all of this was going on, the game did continue to run and the company did operate as normal. The game was still playable,
but the clock started ticking to see how quickly Realtime
Worlds could solve this problem. Unfortunately, the situation
didn’t work out very well and the studio ended up closing on the 16th of September, 2010, just a few months after the launch of APB. As stated by a
representative of the studio, APB had been a fantastic journey, but unfortunately that journey has to come to a premature end. 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 of its players. Together we were building
an absolutely amazing game and for that, we thank you. You guys are awesome and just like that, a project that had been
going on for five years was officially over. The company closed down and
APB was put on a standstill. In September of 2010, other companies were looking
at buying and taking over APB. The company that did end up purchasing it was known as GamersFirst and they planned for a
remake and relaunch in 2011. These new developers
planned on making the game a true, free to play game with no pay to win aspects
or stupid subscription plans and the fans of the game
were pretty excited for this. I mean, their hype had been
up for APB for over five years so it was about time that something good was gonna come for the game. The revamp version, known as APB Reloaded, launched in December of 2011 on Steam. It looked much better
than the previous game and the free to play model would take away a lot of the complaints
that existed before. When paying for a game, you have a lot higher of expectations than if you’re playing it for free. If you pay for it, you
wanna get your money’s worth so usually the standards
are set a lot higher, but since this was a free to play game, the standards were set a little bit lower which did allow for a little
bit more leniency in the game. This new version would last much longer and would do much better
than the original game which was only public for
around 79 days before it closed and APB Reloaded is still around today and while it’s not
necessarily a popular game, it’s still surviving, but it’s still not the game
that people were expecting. The reviews are still mediocre. The path is drifting
towards a pay to win system and there is still tons of issues that keep it from becoming popular. Unfortunately, it will
probably never become the game that was promised initially and it may be rough around the edges, but at least it’s still alive. There’s no telling what
the future will bring for APB Reloaded. I’m sure it’ll still be around and a small group of
people will still play it, but it honestly sucks that it wasn’t what everybody was expecting. I’m hoping that the current
developers will take it and put some serious work into it, making it into something great, but like I said, there’s
really no way to know. One thing that I do know however, is that Pixel Empire is a website that you should definitely check out. It’s an up and coming website
that sells really cool gaming themed posters, phone cases, shirts, and a lot more. Their products are really nice and I actually own some stuff by them, so I stand behind what they sell. I’m not just talking about something that I really don’t know much about because I actually love this company. Their newest products are some fictional travel themed posters and they would look really
cool with most gaming setups. They’re the sponsors of today’s video and they’ve hooked you guys up
with a 10% off discount code if you’re interested
in purchasing anything. So if you go on the website, make sure to use code
ROBOKAST at checkout. You’ll get a nice discount and
it’ll help out the channel. Anyways guys, that’s gonna
be it for today’s video. What are your thoughts on
the future of APB Reloaded and do you think it could
still become successful again? Let me know in the comments below. I look forward to seeing
what you guys think. Anyways, I will see you
guys next time and peace. (gentle music)

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Hey guys! Just made a new video talking about Undertale! I tried a new editing style and want to know what you guys think! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bynn0V_jfIo&t=

  2. I remember finding and downloading this game on the Xbox one. I remember absolutely hating the graphics, how shit the online experience was, how terrible the game was as a whole. I erased it the same day. Terrible game, 2/10

  3. I don't remember when the developers announced this but the game was going to get upgraded to Unreal engine 4 and we've gotten no more info about it whatsoever… We haven't even gotten any new content ever since the game re-released (i might be wrong about that though) but it feels like it.

  4. I am a bit biased because I genuinely love this game, but Little orbit's doing some truly amazing work to better the game. In fact, a Move to the next unreal engine is in the works!

  5. It's my and my friend's fav MMO since 2012. We still enjoy this game and wants it to continue and improve.

  6. shitty gunplay because third person is generally terrible, rampant aimbotting, weebs drawing trannies on the publicly claimable billboards, and after not long it was just so dead that you'd almost indefinitely be matched against people that have paid.. I mean.. played far longer than you. just a cornucopia of things to avoid.

  7. When he said add your own music to the radio I was like “Oh my god” I don’t know why but that’s so amazing to me

  8. 2:32 "and character customization was unlike anything ever seen at the time" you should have added "or since"

  9. Everyone saying the game is dead and pay to win, and this and that. But open your eyes, for a free game, we are pretty spoiled. I have been playing consistently for a week and havent encountered any hackers or anything people complain about. I also havent put any money into the game and still kick ass with my clan. Def not pay to win and def not a dead game.

  10. David was definetly a revolutionary when it came to games, no doubt.. but APB wasnt it.. other than that hes a legend

  11. David was definetly a revolutionary when it came to games, no doubt.. but APB wasnt it.. other than that hes a legend

  12. "the game was not what everybody expected!" lol dude drop some of your expectation then the game was awesome. i was so addicted to it and had really a good time, i couldnt expect more than that. the fact that it was for free was really nice….. the moment that they started selling things and changed something with how the tommy gun shoots (my love gun) i hated it. i was one of the few players who won the tommy gun valentine challenge, this gun was OP… i know that when everybody used to call me hacker because i wrecked them.

  13. No single player experience yay that so fun no story run shoot kill run shoot kill . Have to have nothing but a brain stem in your head to find games like that fun

  14. U know ragnarok online first release is 2USD/24hours at that time (2004 maybe) but the game is pretty succed.. ._. Why apb not?

  15. Who says this game is pay2win, probably didnt play it for a long time, also Little Orbit put every armas market weapon in the joker store permanently now. You have no excuses to call it p2w now, this game actually requires skill

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