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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 10:00AM bate said

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Failed business model or not: APB is a hell of a lot of fun!

I have been playing MMORPGs since 1999 (before that I exclusively played FPS games). Frankly I was "tricked" into buying APB under the delusion that it was an urban mmo for some reason. While the harsh reality of its FPS-ness struck me by surprise, I haven't been able to put it down since. :)

I think the marketing could have been more clear though. Make no mistake; APB is NOT an MMORPG. It is a 3rd person shooter. And a damn fun one. :)

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 10:06AM MrGutts said

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I understand a company wanting to try new things, that is outside the normality of other FPS games, but I think they tried way to many new things all at once and they dumped all the eggs in that basket.

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 10:11AM Deadend said

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Anybody could tell why the game failed its because it sucks it's just not a very good game It is limited in scope, very repetitive and extremely carebare for a game that was pitched as a PVP centric Grand Theft Auto like online game. Only the content didn't warrant a subscription or pay to play model of any kind. You can get the kind of gameplay represented in the game from any shooter made these days and done better and in far more interesting ways.

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 4:25PM (Unverified) said

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You are a moron. Show me one shooter than is online that I can steal cars, have pvp, street race, make my own artwork for the marketplace, create my own car designs, and have the rest customizations that APB has to offer.
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Posted: Aug 28th 2010 10:47AM (Unverified) said

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jgramm25, like management at Realtime Worlds, you appear to have confused Photoshop and computer games. If I'm going to play a game, it's going to be because there's a game in the middle.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2010 10:31AM dudes said

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One word: FUBAR

Ok its a number of words in an abbreviation, but still relevant.

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 10:32AM MtthwRddl said

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Are people really putting the blame for the game's success on the payment system? Really? I thought the payment system was interesting. I don't play a ton each week, and X number of hours could last me much longer than a static month of play time.

I think it comes down to this quote:

"...in a time where the game industry is becoming increasingly focused on blockbuster hits..."

The communities are too focused on what game will be the next big hit. New Massively Multiplayer Online games are having an enormous amount of pressure put upon them to be the next WoW, even when no game can truly be that. How many MMORPGs are in trouble right now? Many. The time between a new game releasing and that same game going Free 2 Play is decreasing rapidly. These games can't survive under their original price plans because players just aren't willing to pay that price for something that isn't the next WoW. And that is unfortunate, because so many games are in trouble and are having to reconsider their payment plans just to stay afloat.

Some may say this is the Golden Age of MMORPGs, but I kind of feel it's the Medieval Age, as very few games are actually getting through unscathed and many games are dying off at younger and younger ages. It's rather rough for MMOs right now, even if you are Free 2 Play (see Allods).

I look forward to DC Universe Online, but I can't imagine having to go through the same feelings I am going through for APB; having a game you like a lot but the majority of the community just doesn't want to support the game, and having to watch it slowly die. And if the system doesn't change, many more games will run into this problem. I guarantee you Star Wars The Old Republic will. It'll be the next Star Trek online, I am pretty sure, which is another game that looked to be great, and is instead trying to hold it together without going Free 2 Play.

I guess Guild Wars has it made. Never having to worry about subscription prices doing them in. Good for them.

For the rest of the MMO market...good luck, you'll need it. Here's hoping you live long enough to see your 3rd birthday.

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 5:12PM (Unverified) said

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I guarantee that swtor will most certainly plunge like sto... I kid
but honestly comparing cryptic to bioware? That's like comparing doodoo to a pile of diamonds... There are. competent devs other than blizz you know
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Posted: Aug 27th 2010 7:17PM (Unverified) said

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"How many MMORPGs are in trouble right now? Many. "

Name some, outside of WoW, that isn't "in trouble" according to the people that play the game.

I'm interested in hearing this.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2010 10:50AM (Unverified) said

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No need to be confused. This is no deep mystery. It doesn't hinge on a number of hazy elements, it doesn't spell doom for the industry. It was just a really poor game.

Massive hype = Great expectations. Great expectations + Really poor game = You guessed it; Fail.

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 10:51AM (Unverified) said

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Step 1: See Dead Horse
Step 2: Beat

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 10:56AM Averice said

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Game was a failure from the start... sure it sounded cool, being able to create your own content, your own look, be unique. But once the actual Gameplay news came out, it was an obvious bust. I don't understand how someone actually IN the industry didn't see this coming a ways before release. Well, I'm sure a number of them did, just nobody wanted to say anything, they wanted their paycheck and they wanted to dream.

The game wouldn't be a bust if they hadn't spent so much money on its development. That's a problem with making a triple A mmo that isn't any good, the company tends to collapse as it stays in debt. You basically need to guarantee the return to afford the cost of making it in the first place. GW2, Cata, FF14, can all guarantee that return. You can't expect a large portion of the MMO community to buy into your game unless you have a trusted brand right now. The market is saturated, this is simple stuff.

Seriously, who were they expecting to play APB anyway? They didn't even go after the general market from what I can tell of the game they made. I guess they wanted all the superhero MMO players to go to it for the customization? Maybe they wanted xbox players to flock to it? I could never tell who they were marketing their game towards honestly.

@primetime - I don't think it's the communities putting the pressure on the companies, I think it's the investors of said companies. There have been plenty of MMO's that made it and still survive today without requiring a ton of investment. iRO, Maple Story, etc., to name just a couple. If you read some of the interviews you actually hear the exact opposite of what you quoted. How the creators of APB felt trapped because they're working on this giant behemoth of a game, when the community doesn't want a giant expensive behemoth of a game, so the creators felt like they were "working on a dinosaur". I can't remember whose quote that is exactly that I just paraphrased, but yeah, I don't really feel like the overarching MMO community is looking for a WoW killer anymore, they're just looking for something fun. The MMO community has grown so large in the last 5 years.

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 11:00AM (Unverified) said

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What happened to RTW?

They ran out of money obviously to hit this sort of crisis so soon. The game was out less than 2 months before it imploded, that's one billing cycle.

While I agree that the game has some design issues, financing appears to have been a more serious issue.

now IMHO, I played the open beta and it wasn't half bad, I admit it was fun pulling folks out of their cars and driving around like an idiot...but beyond that, there wasn't a whole lot more to sink your teeth into. Steal a car, spray some graffiti, shoot at another player...that was about it... what a shame, I remember reading about this wayyyy back in 03 or 04 in a magazine called "Computer Gaming Monthly" (now out of print)



Posted: Aug 27th 2010 11:41AM Tom in VA said

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I wonder if perhaps they didn't also focus way too much time, energy, and money on the much-vaunted (and, yes, really cool) character/vehicle customization instead fleshing out the core game?

STO and Aion, imo, suffer from the same problem (though to a lesser degree): great customization and avatar creation but tedious, repetitive, and/or inadequate content.

Successful MMOs seem to have a much higher content/customization ratio.

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 11:57AM ultimateq said

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APB is still alive, and pretty much kickin'. New patch has just been released, and the list of changes is long.

http://na.apb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1646592#post1646592

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 4:28PM (Unverified) said

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This patch made APB into the game it should have been. If you canceled your SUB I recommend buying another month or some more hours to try this patch out. It really kicks ass.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2010 3:15PM EdmundDante said

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One problem I think has added fuel to the fire is the MMO market is becoming over-saturated IMO. Therefore, it's becoming riskier and harder to succeed. I think it is also the reason why F2P is on the rise, as it gives unknown game companies (and even known) an alternative foothold on the competitive market and also if the game is decent - more opportunity to draw in more players.


Posted: Aug 27th 2010 3:44PM Superjudge said

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RTW shot itself in the foot with its RTW points system. They essentially gave players a way to pay for their subs by making in-game content. While it is a nice concept, they effectively limit the number of subs they are getting each month.

Additionally, this system also afforded players who didn't want to bother playing through the game as it was intended, a means to gain weaponry or perks much earlier than they would have if they had taken the time to unlock them. That coupled with the lack of anti-hack software and lack of varying rulesets for the game has driven away a good portion of the playerbase. Also, the upgrade system and broken matchmaking robbed players of a true skill based experience which also alienated much of the population.


Having said that, I have stuck with this game despite many hours of frustration that I have experienced simply because of the times of sheer enjoyment that I have garnered from the title. It has often been an exercise in frustration quite often being pitted against opponents who have a much higher rating and maxxed out upgrades armed with aimbots and wallhacks.

Despite all that, the 1.4.1 patch that came out yesterday was a godsend. The improvement to the matchmaking system, weapons and vehicles are something that probably should have been part of the game at release. For the first time in a long time, I did not look at who I was pitted against and groan inside if I saw that their rating and equipment were much higher/better than mine. I was able to actually use what skill I had to keep my crosshair trained on my opponent and take them down while they sprayed bullets all over creation. This patch gives me hope for the future of the game.

Posted: Aug 27th 2010 4:31PM (Unverified) said

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I wouldn't say they limited the SUBS because I sell one epic car for 2 months of game play worth of points. SOMEONE bought those points, they didn't just appear. So in reality it ends up the same as if I would've bought a month instead of the person who bought my car. If anything the RTW points gives them more profit because the market will take a cut and some newer guys will buy things to get the gear faster.
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Posted: Aug 27th 2010 5:37PM Graill440 said

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Here are a couple major slams on them they never corrected.

Vehicle handling and control (it was asif the game was made for a .............console)

Missions and weapons.

Person A receives a mission, they have X amount of time to pursue the suspect, upon finding the suspect they find they are waaaaaaay outgunned and die in an eyeblink, you have just found you pistol was no match for a full auto assault weapon.

Group missions went the same way.

Weapons: several were found to be auto when they should not have been due to a bug, this was a big thing, it was announced by beta folks a full two months before release and it was never fixed, along with a multitude of skills.

Sound like anything we already read about?

They only have themselves to blame. If the lower level devs feel they were dismissed they need to rise up and slay their oppressor, in game of course.

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