US firm acquires Project MyWorld

US firm acquires Project MyWorld

By Rob Crossley

September 3rd 2010 at 2:06PM

Realtime Worlds â??pet b-projectâ?? first to be snaffled by a buyer, Develop can reveal

An anonymous American company has completed the purchase of Project Myworld from collapsed studio Realtime Worlds, Develop can reveal.

The move has permanently split Realtime Worlds into at least two segments – with numerous potential buyers eyeing up scattered portions of the company that are still deemed profitable.

Develop has yet to determine how the Project MyWorld purchase will affect the 23 developers currently working on the game.

It is still a possibility that the new US owner will only buy Project Myworld’s IP and game build. It is understood that the project is not too far from passing final milestones, and remaining Dundee-bound staff could yet be hired, perhaps temporarily, to finish the job.

Equally possible is that a new spin off studio will rise from Realtime Worlds’ ashes under American ownership, though it is also feasible that the developer’s US satellite studio will be bought as part of the Myworld deal.

In any case, what remains up for purchase is the All Points Bulletin (APB) IP, a $100 million-plus project that – after nearly five years in development – suffered “lackluster sales” and failed to provide a significant return for its creators.

The sudden interest in Myworld had come as a surprise for administrators Begbies Traynor, and the business rescue firm went on to re-hire 23 of the project’s staff.

“As a smaller entity MyWorld is attracting considerable interest from potential buyers and 23 members of the team who had been working on the project clearly add value to it as a standalone business,” said joint administrator Ken Pattullo.

Days after Realtime Worlds’ collapse, Begbies Traynor predicated selling the business on the star-IP status of APB, having released data suggesting the game has 130,000 registered users who play the title four hours each day on average. Yet interest in that property has not been as significant as Myworld’s, at least for now.

It was previously speculated that Realtime Worlds bosses Ian Hetherington and Dave Jones were trying to buy Project MyWorld out of administration. News of a US buyer appear to discount the pair as the mystery buyer.