Anyone who bought the ambitious online game APB had just a few weeks to enjoy it before the studio behind it collapsed like a stack of dominos. Customers are being told not to expect a refund of any kind, but if you make a stink about it publisher EA will toss a free game your way.
With an entire development studio set up exclusively for the game and one of the most exhaustive set of resources ever set aside for an online game, APB has gone down as one of the biggest blunders in video game history.
Above: Six months of hype, one month of enjoyment… just like a celebrity wedding
APB was released on July 1st for $50 and charged players $10 per month to play online. But just weeks later, developer Realtime Worlds was on the brink of collapse. After being unable to find a buyer to take over its assets, it went under, and last week it took APB's servers with it.
For most, the money is lost, but a few customers who purchased a digital download directly from EA's online store have received a refund, and those who bought APB from other outlets, like Steam, have had some success finding remedies.
Along-running thread (opens in new tab)on Steam's support forum chronicles numerous customers who bought their copy of APB on Steam and contacted EA through online chat. In all cases, users were offered at minimum a $20 digital store credit and at maximum a free copy of any EA-developed game. Many have requested a free download of Mass Effect 2.
Former APB players should act quickly while EA is trying to enact damage control. No one's laughing all the way to the bank here, but at least it's a nicer gesture than just walking over your face.
Sep 27, 2010(opens in new tab)
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