APB re-launch enters closed beta in free-to-play form

Publisher gambles on the revival of one of the biggest online game blunders ever

When it comes to failed massively multiplayer online games, few are as legendary as APB. Realtime Worlds devoted almost all of its resources to the game, but just after launch, the entire project was shut down and the company was shuttered.

GamesFirst, a publisher that specializes in "free" online games, however, thinks it can find success with the game. Today, APB Reloaded took its first major step toward becoming a reality by beginning its closed beta test.

"Our vision is to evolve the original APB game into the best AAA production-value Free2Play MMO shooter in the market today by carefully incorporating gamer feedback in the creative process. We plan to turn this game into a genuinely engaging experience by honoring, respecting and involving the community during all stages of this game's evolution," said GamersFirst CEO Joshua Hong in a statement.

The company isn't just picking up where Realtime Worlds left off and hoping for the best. GamersFirst has made a lot of changes to APB, which it detailed in the following list:

  • All vehicles have been greatly improved and redesigned.
  • The "starter" vehicles have been replaced by new, better looking and easier to control vehicles.
  • Weapons have had their damage increased considerably.
  • Upgrades have been grouped into 10 types. Upgrades of the same type do not stack.
  • Contacts have been split into Weapon or Vehicle contacts. Their rewards have also been split accordingly.
  • Roles have been re-vamped to support progression.
  • New anti-hacking measures have been put into place.
  • The Control Scheme has been revamped.

The company plans to continue updating and improving the game, but the biggest change is the free-to-play aspect. The publisher relies on other forms of revenue, such as in-game transactions, to cover the cost of servers and maintenance.

GamersFirst is offering closed beta keys through various contests, details of which can be found on http://www.gamersfirst.com/APBReloaded.

Mar 1, 2011

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