APB Sale To Pay Outstanding Wage Claims + Interview With New Owner

Last week’s sale of APB to K2 Network, will allow Begbies-Tryanor, the administrator of Realtime Worlds to settle all outstanding wage and holiday pay claims, according to the latest report from GamesIndustry.biz.

Paul Dounis from the liquidator is quoted as saying: “We are obviously very happy to have concluded the sale but at the same time very much regret the loss of jobs as a result of the closure of Realtime Worlds.  “As a consequence of the IPR asset sale all outstanding wages and holiday pay claims will be met in full.”

This should hopefully come as some relief to the staff made redundant, who have been fighting for wages, holiday pay and in some cases, even statutory redundancy pay.

Develop has an interview with Bjorn Book-Larsson, the chief operating officer of Gamers First – the free-to-play MMO website, which will shortly be APB’s new home.  The interview covers the purchase of the game, the company’s plans for releasing it, the business models being considered and anticipated changes and updates before the game’s release in the first half of 2011.

Mr Book-Larsson is also quoted as saying that he’d be interested in hearing from any ex-RTW staff who worked on the game:  “We would say that, if there’s former staff that are interested in talking to us, our door is open.”

Here’s the introduction to the interview.  The whole piece can be found on the Develop website.

Bjorn Book-Larsson, the new owner of Realtime Worlds’ final game APB, wants Develop to interview him again in one year’s time. In twelve months he wants us to ask how APB is faring commercially because, he says, his answer will prove a point.

Book-Larsson, the COO of Gamers First, believes most MMOs will starve as a boxed retail product, yet the majority can thrive in the free-to-play market.

APB is his biggest bet yet on that paradigm. The game stands as one of the most destructive and unequivocal failures of the modern development industry. There was not a thread of silver lining in the final chapters of the APB saga; the game flew on a $100 million budget, made a spectacular nosedive upon release, and killed a studio.

If, after all this APB still succeeds as a free-to-play game, that alone could bring the inquest to the old-guard publishing industry, which is only now beginning to adopt new digital, social and online business models.

Book-Larsson appears determined to see that happen. Develop sits down with him to discuss future plans, and tie up loose ends.

Find the rest of the interview here.

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