While many of us are aware of the basics behind the rise, fall, and re-rise of All Points Bulletin
, it's only been from a partial, fragmented perspective. GamesIndustry.biz
conducted an in-depth investigation into the story of how GamersFirst
swooped in to save the drowning APB
, which barely had 130,000 registered users at the time of its shutdown last year.
As the game and company went into administration, GamersFirst sent in a team to assess the title and see what could be done. The company decided to purchase it and convert it to a free-to-play model, although Bjorn Book-Larsson
said that the price tag for the company was higher than initially anticipated: "It ended up not being a cheap deal for us, but obviously a lot cheaper than the initial development."
In restructuring the development team, GamersFirst reduced the number of developers by 90% to make it more agile, often recruiting former Realtime Worlds
employees who showed promise. "Our production designer used to be the lead QA person. He'd spent years taking notes on how things should have been different. Essentially, when I met him the first time he rattled off a huge list of what he thought should have been different. Just an insane amount. We just said, maybe we should just hire you as a designer," Larsson said.
So far, it looks as though the restructuring and new focus is paying off, as APB Reloaded's
beta is currently seeing five times as many players as those who registered for the box product last year.