APB’s Failure and why I think it’s a good sign

I’ll try and make this brief.  To me it’s really quite obvious why APB failed.

  • Realtime Worlds is full of people who have no clue how to run a business.
  • They had delusions of grandeur.
  • They were/are liars.
  • The game ended up being terrible.  The wrong game, at the wrong time, for the wrong audience, simply made entirely wrong.

The style of game that APB was trying to be does not work in a MMO or even psuedo-wanna-be MMO atmosphere.  This idea of lobby based “massively multiplayer” shooters needs to forever be put in a draw and locked away.   The setting does not work either.  Modern gangs with machine guns and this idea of bringing Grand Theft Auto to a fully realized MMO setting does not work unless you actually do it!  No one has ever even come close.  Either get it right, knowing you’re getting it right, or stop trying.

If you fell for the lies and bought a copy of the game or were sold on the hype are are let down then you really need to spend more time studying what does and does not succeed in this industry.  There are games that really do look good and fool people.  I get fooled all. the. time.  APB never looked good.  There were red flags everywhere.  The attempt at stopping people from talking about the game during the first week of its release, ads over VOIP, their wonky payment model, the smoke and mirrors of trailers that showed zero gameplay that wasn’t scripted, and on and on and on. APB never left that “ehhh” stage for me.  It felt entirely too iffy.

If you’re not convinced, read the blog entries from one of the employees.  Parts One / Two / Three

This leads me to one last thing.

First, it’s a raw deal that people lost their jobs.  I feel for you.  I am not, however, in the least bit remorseful that a company is going under and a game closed down.  This needs to become a regular occurrence.  A lot more games deserve to be shut down and a lot more companies just as bad or worse than Realtime Worlds need to go under.  The sooner these bad companies with bad games dwindle away the sooner the quality will go up.  We’re being inundated with crap, saturated with mediocrity or worse, and being forced into complacent or backward-moving thinking.

The gaming industry is really a weird example of how the proliferation of new gaming companies is not a good thing (and not serving as true competition) for a market that is so clearly undefined.  More companies making more games is not proving to be better for the player because instead of competing against each other to make the best games possible, they’re realizing they can all jointly stop caring or copy one another and that anyone can get into the “game making” business regardless of whether or not they have a clue or $100 million.  It’s getting ridiculous.  Hopefully APB is just the beginning.

I’ll say it once again: There’s going to be a crash;  Maybe just a mini one, but a crash that shakes things up and gets people realizing it’s time to start moving forward, not backwards.  I sound harsh, I know.  I just do not see any reason why companies or their employees should be rewarded for producing garbage.

In related news, can Epic Games (a company that does not suck) possibly make the game any better?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Holiday Buyer's Guide - Find great gifts for the gamer in your life!