RTW faces closure as rescue bid fails [Update 2]

RTW faces closure as rescue bid fails [Update 2]

By Rob Crossley

September 16th 2010 at 5:03PM

Potential partners reluctant to buy the studio; redundancies made; APB bid to relaunch

Realtime Worlds’ administrator will scale back efforts to rescue the collapsed studio, Develop can reveal, and will instead launch a last-gasp attempt to sell on APB without any ties to its creators.

[Update 2:RTW has emptied staff in both the US and UK studios, Epic Games has been named as a likely APBIP buyer, and rows continue over redundancy pay. All detals here.]

Administrator Begbies Traynor was last week confident that a positive announcement would be made by Friday, with 2-3 anonymous companies having a serious interest in the studio.

“But it turned out that none of the remaining buyers were comfortable buying the game as a live operation,” a reliable source close to the matter told Develop.

“It was decided that to take on the game operation itself, as it is now, was too expensive.”

That means Realtime Worlds – as a studio – will again break apart from its IPs, with Begbies Traynor preparing to relaunch negotiations for APB only.

[Update: As suggested by an announcement on the Realtime Worlds website, the APB IP may not be sold on with its servers and tech.

A studio spokesperson said: "APB has been a fantastic journey, but unfortunately that journey has come to a premature end. Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone's best efforts to keep the service running; APB is coming to a close."]

The studio, which currently holds about fifty staff, is expected to close as a result.

A Begbies Traynor spokesperson told Develop,

“We are embarking on a marketing process to sell the APB game platform and intellectual property rights”.

Realtime Worlds entered administration last month following lacklustre sales of APB, a game which cost over $100 million to build for launch.

Soon after, one anonymous US company moved in to buy Project Myworld – a pet project from the studio – as a single entity. This effectively broke the company up into at least two segments.

It is now believed that the APB IP will be second segment sold by administrators, as it still holds considerable interest.