Little Orbit are now in charge of APB Reloaded, and they’ve got big plans

APBReloaded-header

I was going to open this post by saying ‘Remember APB?’, but Graham already did that in 2013. Um. Do you remember remembering APB? It’s the cops and robbers MMO that launched in a shonky state back in 2010, causing Realtime Worlds to sink just weeks after launch. Then the game got picked up by GamersFirst, who turned it free-to-play, slapped ‘Reloaded’ onto the name, and made it…a little less shonky?

This week, the story continues. Little Orbit have bought GamersFirst, and their CEO is promising to look after the somehow-still-existent APB community with big content updates and a shift to a newer engine. Will it be enough to make those cops worth robbing and the robbers worth copping?

You can read Orbit CEO Matthew Scott’s letter to the community for yourself here. He’s keen to emphasise how open the dev process is going to be from here out, and wants to shake up both the world of APB and the tendrils outside the game itself:

“In the next 30 days, expect to see GDPR updates for GamersFirst including new privacy policies, code of conduct, and term & conditions. We will also be cleaning up the social pages, implementing a new forum, showcasing a general roadmap for the game and announcing a significant change to our banning and cheating policies.”

“This is all critical for setting up an environment where you can give us feedback.

“After that we’re going to focus on content. I’ll be working on an exact roadmap that we can publish soon, but over the coming months we would like to add a new mode, maps, clothes, guns, vehicles and a new matching system for competitive play. Alongside all of that we are committed to upgrading APB Reloaded to the Unreal 4 engine.”

He also warns that the engine change is likely to take a long time, and – more strikingly – that he doesn’t expect the change to make much difference in the short term.

“Personally I don’t think Unreal 4 is going to have a big impact on the look or speed of the game”, he says, adding that “it may not even be noticeable to some.” The move is really about ensuring the game’s “long-term viability”, says Scott.

I haven’t played it myself, but everything I’ve heard suggests that most of the game’s problems are ones that content updates won’t take care of. As Brendy puts it: “Presented as Grand Theft Auto meets MMO it had neither the confidence of the former nor the lifespan of the latter. It was ambitious but also doomed. Poor driving controls, humdrum shooting matches and a lack of variety couldn’t save it from the ire of heartless critics.”

You can find more of Brendy’s heartless, accurate criticism in his review.

18 Comments

  1. BeefChesthair says:

    I don’t think a small company will be able to pull this off. Maybe if Epic or EA decided they wanted to save it.

    • osprey240 says:

      “I don’t think a small company will be able to pull this off. Maybe if Epic or EA decided they wanted to save it.”
      EA can kill this game only

    • BlackMookie says:

      Originally, it was an EA game :p

      => link to youtube.com

      • BeefChesthair says:

        Yeah I know it was, I’ve been playing since the original beta test. I love the game but these tiny companies just don’t have the staff to manage an extremely expensive game like APB was. A dozen or so guys aren’t going to be able to do much. APB needs a team in the 100s.

  2. Dorga says:

    Aren’t they the ones who also picked up Unsung Story, that failed FF: Tactics inspired Kickstarter? Strange company.

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      Aerothorn says:

      Correct, and if nothing else they have been excellent at communication in a way the original dev was not.

    • ninjapirate says:

      You never know what they might be able to salvage from these “broken” games, I doubt they’re acquiring them arbitrarily.

  3. Chiron says:

    Character creation was lovely, they should just release that tbh.

  4. gabrielonuris says:

    When it was first released it wasn’t that bad; the driving mechanics felt like a drunk clown on a monocycle, and the shooting mechanics had no distiction of localized damage (a shot in the foot would make the same ammount of damage as a shot in the head).

    But at that time, there was no such thing as a GTA online, so it could have taken the crown. Today? I doubt it would survive for much longer.

    • SnallTrippin says:

      This game was great when it came out. I paid for it ffs…but hackers, lots of hackers. It had really fun mechanics and was awesome when you hooked up with a crew.

    • Nevv says:

      GTA online doesn’t have great pvp gameplay. At least in APB it’s not a race to get into a hydra, or taking two steps and then eating the pavement.

  5. davebo says:

    After $100 mil invested and all the talk of being the first real online GTA-type, I was psyched to get into the closed beta. What I found was a mediocre game I couldn’t imagine playing long-term and was completely unsurprised when it tanked so quickly after launch. What was amazing though was this game had the best character configurator I had ever seen at that point. I imagine it’s been surpassed by now but I couldn’t believe someone didn’t just take that configurator and lease it to use in a much better game.

  6. 111uminate says:

    But … Why? We live in a world where GTA Online exists. I don’t understand the investment or the ambition to clean this game up. It will never, ever compete. There must be a small community of whales paying the rent and vacations of a few employees that they wanted some action on.

    • osprey240 says:

      APB better than GTA:O. Imho.

    • April March says:

      I think there’s space in this world for a competent competitor to GTA:O (…that’s free-to-play? 🤔). It just remains to be seem whether APB can be that competitor.

    • Hardwood says:

      Gta:O pvp is trash. Either crapverasy mode, race with bunch of rammers or open world hydra cancerfest. Plus you can’t even customize anything and wear preset clothes that compared to some average APB design look like bought on chinese bazar.
      APB is broken but after fixing major issues and adding new maps and content it might actually get decent population.

  7. Axyl says:

    As one of the Beta Testers for the original APB, I feel qualified to talk about this.

    The game is shit. It was shit at original launch (Good job on that one RTW), it was shit after K2 bought it and, spoiler alert, it’s going to be shit now too.

    It’s an underdeveloped half-idea. Online Multiplayer Free Roam Cops and Robbers sounds good ‘n all, but there’s just so little flesh on the bones of this one, and it’s ALL about those microtransactions.

    The Character Creator was one of the best ever, right up there with the Smackdown games etc. Until the K2 buyout, and then a HUGE amount of the character creator was locked behind paywalls.

    Just let it die. :(

    Source: I spent 9 months of my life Beta Testing and passing feedback and bug reports to RTW during the games inital development. We were SCREAMING at them NOT to release it. It simply wasn’t ready, but they did not listen and the rest is depressing history.

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