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Realtime Worlds enters administration

Tue 17 Aug 2010 2:55pm GMT / 10:55am EDT / 7:55am PDT
BusinessDevelopment

APB developer's future in doubt following the online game's commercial problems

Dundee-based APB developer Realtime Worlds has entered administration, GamesIndustry.biz can confirm, following the failure of the online title to draw in strong enough subscriber numbers.

The company is currently being advised by Begbies Traynor Group's Edinburgh office. It is understood that CEO Gary Dale is now at the Dundee head office following a trip to Colorado to speak to staff there.

The game, which was worked on by a very large team for several years, was met with mediocre reviews following a strained launch process that had games press initially embargoed from scoring the title until after it had launched.

But after that confusion was cleared up, gamers failed to take to the PC title, and a first round of lay-offs from the company was announced last week, while the developer's other project - MyWorld - was reportedly rejected by two publishers earlier in the year.

However, despite that action, sources hinted at further trouble, claiming that Dale had flown to Colorado to 'strip the staff' from that office.

A full statement from Begbie Traynor is expected later today.

44 Comments

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
Here's to RTW - hopefully you guys will somehow pull through and emerge out the other side leaner and stronger. There's still time for a buyer to be found, and you're a good proposition at what will be a cheap price.

And if you don't, hopefully those affected will find other roles soon as.

All the best.

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

956 185 0.2
Oh dear God...I hope you guys find a buyer, this knocked me back into my chair.

Good luck to all of you.

Posted:4 years ago

#2
All the best indeed.

Perhaps a right partner can be found.

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Darrell Blake Programmer, SUMO Digital

1 0 0.0
Sad news for yet another UK studio.

Posted:4 years ago

#4

Josef Brett Animator

296 0 0.0
Really sorry for all you guys. Good luck finding a new job and keep trying to push forward.

It may not have been the success you all hoped but it was a damn good idea with so much potential.

Posted:4 years ago

#5

Alex Wright-Manning Talent Officer, Playground Games

172 2 0.0
Awful news. Yet another UK studio in difficulties. I really hope that an investor can be found; APB really looked to have had something going for it, if only the devs had time to iron out the kinks.

Without appearing predatory, if anyone has been affected, please feel free to drop me a message. I have a strong portfolio of positions globally for experienced games industry professionals, so would be only too happy to discuss options with those unfortunate enough to have found themselves out of a job.

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Tameem Antoniades Creative Director & Co-founder, Ninja Theory Ltd

196 164 0.8
I remember this happening to our parent company Argonaut. It was a very difficult time for us all but I believe most if not all people landed on their feet in good places or new directions in life. There's always a silver lining. Best to everyone involved.

Posted:4 years ago

#7

Gregory Keenan

102 11 0.1
Thats a shock.

Posted:4 years ago

#8

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
Tameem's comment about a silver lining is so true of this industry. Every time a studio goes under, new ones always spring up. It's good to see Ron Ashtiani's Atomhawk and Bob Troughton's new Pitbull rising up in Newcastle. Awesome blokes, both of them. Should the worst come to the worst, then here's to a new studio (or two, or three) being in place in the not too distant future.

Posted:4 years ago

#9

Britton Taylor Quality Assurance Tester, TimeGate Studios

12 0 0.0
Best of luck to all the Devs!

Posted:4 years ago

#10

Mark Knight Lead Sound Designer, Codemasters

2 0 0.0
All the best to the guys up there, especially the ex. Visual Science peeps who went through this only a few years ago :(

Posted:4 years ago

#11
Very sad. I was particulary excited by the real life avatr creation recently. Best of luck for the whole team.

Posted:4 years ago

#12

Pier Castonguay Programmer

189 106 0.6
APB was ambitious and a great idea, but they chosen bad technology for the project when they were in design phase so it took them way too much time to create a product which was not what they really wanted. They probably knew they would fail before releasing the game. After the release of the game, it seems they went back to ground basic gameplay design (just see their homepage). Something obv got wrong.

Unfortunately for them, the MyWorld project don't seems really interesting neither, maybe the designers should work a bit harder?

Posted:4 years ago

#13

Richard Westmoreland Game Desginer, Exient Ltd

138 90 0.7
Best of luck to everyone there! It's awful when this happens.

Posted:4 years ago

#14

Phil White Head of Online Operations, Crytek

3 0 0.0
Very sad news and I wish everyone at RTW success in finding new positions.
There is some great tech behind APB so I hope they find a buyer for the whole product or be able to sell off pieces of the tech.

Posted:4 years ago

#15

Finlay Thewlis Studying Game Design & Production Management, University of Abertay Dundee

26 0 0.0
Totally devastating for everyone in the UK, especially dundee. Realtime has always been the company that makes you feel relaxed just because you know its there. They helped alot out for university projects and this sort of input is rare and highly valued. Hopefully this isn't the end!

Posted:4 years ago

#16

Pedro Castro GE Senior Analyst, Electronic Arts

1 0 0.0
Good luck to everyone! Hope you find success in the near future.

Posted:4 years ago

#17

Jonathan Lindsay Creative Director, Playomic

17 0 0.0
First of all, to everyone affected, I wish you all the best and strongly advise you to see this as an opportunity to do what ever you really want to do.

I was lucky enough to be given a student placement at RTW during the summer of 2006 and worked on APB as some kind of assistant producer. I was fired after 2 months for critizing management on an agile development forum. From the start I was really shocked by the then project manager's attitude, he was clearly the wrong person to be leading such a large and ambitious project. RTW eventually parted company with this PM, but the damage had been done.

From my point of view, which is based on my own experience and that of several friends who have worked their, the project lacked design direction and focus. APB is about player to player interactions, but even in 2006, all key people would talk about was customisation. This attitude can even be seen with their 'human avatar' PR stunt. The focus must always be on the core interaction, which in this case is shooting other players. I don't know what caused the lack of focus; maybe too many chiefs and not enough indians, too many inexperienced people in high positions or a lack of willingless to hear critisism due to the companies famous history. The answer is in there somewhere.

Also, I often hear people saying that the base concept of cops and robbers is awesome. Maybe it is, but much more is needed (not just customisation, real gameplay!). For me, it was just too simple a concept, which when considering the problem of lack of focus is a little bit ironic.

Lastly, all is not lost of RTW, they will have to prove that the continuation of APB is in the best interests of their creditors, which might be possible, depending on the games running costs and revenue. I just hope their is some soul searching by those in high positions, else history will be repeated.

Posted:4 years ago

#18

Ben Furneaux Designer, Turbulenz Limited

116 55 0.5
Sad to see this happen to such a graduate friendly company. I hope the company ethos carries on with it's former employees. Good luck everyone.

Posted:4 years ago

#19

Alan Stock Game Designer, SCEE - Evolution Studios

1 0 0.0
Sorry to hear this, best wishes to all at RTW.

Posted:4 years ago

#20

Demetri Detsaridis General Manager, area/code

1 0 0.0
Best of luck, RTW vets. Lots of ambition and ingenuity at this studio -- as Fran said above, even if the worst comes to pass, it won't be long until something(s) rise from the ashes.

Posted:4 years ago

#21

This is a very sad day for Realtime Worlds and for the Scottish and UK video games industry. Realtime Worlds has an exceptionally talented team, management and board of directors. TIGA has been proud to both represent and to work with Realtime Worlds over the last two years. On behalf of everyone at TIGA, best of luck to everyone at Realtime Worlds.

Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA

Posted:4 years ago

#22
Another UK studio in trouble! This is a tragedy for the UK industry, even more so for the Scottish video games industry. They were the only Triple A developer that was private up here. Now, someone as big as RealTime could go down under really has affected our "comfort zone". Just like my university colleague Finlay said, Real Time Worlds let some of their senior staff out to help with our projects, giving us their wisdom and advice. Developer-Student Interaction like that is very, very rare! I really hope they come out stronger after this blows over.

All the best to those who are affected.


Edited 1 times. Last edit by Khaled Al-Hurby on 17th August 2010 6:01pm

Posted:4 years ago

#23

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
That`s very bad news, hope they find a buyer or the people at least soon a new job.

Posted:4 years ago

#24

Michael Rowland Live Producer, Ubisoft Annecy

5 18 3.6
I would also like to give my best wishes to the guys up at RTW, especially to some of my former colleagues.

Best of luck guys and hope you all find your feet soon

Posted:4 years ago

#25

Adam Russell Social Games Designer, Soshi Games

4 0 0.0
As a (former) employee of Realtime Worlds i'd like to thank you all for your kind words of support.

A large number of people have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and it's a great shame that it ended this way.

Posted:4 years ago

#26

Chris Murphy Community & Live Manager, Ubisoft

46 17 0.4
Jaypers. I'm somewhat lost for words. Despite the rocky start I would have thought it would have been possible to push on through for some time yet. I certainly didn't expect this to happen. As some have mentioned, it is a bit of a shock to hear that such a high profile studio has been hit so hard.

I sincerely wish anyone affected by this the best of luck in finding a new job.

Posted:4 years ago

#27

Jordan Woodward Studying Interactive Games Design, University of Gloucestershire

79 0 0.0
Very sad news. RTW had great talent and I enjoyed APB, it's a massive shame. I wish all of the RTW staff the best of luck with finding new jobs.

Posted:4 years ago

#28

Stewart Gilray Managing Director, Just Add Water

33 29 0.9
Let's up there is a silver lining and the guys land on their feet quickly.

I suspect it won't be in Dundee, as 2/3 of games jobs have just been lost there :(

Posted:4 years ago

#29

robert troughton UK General Manager, Epic Games

224 100 0.4
This is really bad news for Dundee and for the UK in general. I seriously hope that the government starts to take things seriously - Realtime Worlds created some fantastic games. Sure, APB didn't do as well as people would've hoped - but don't forget about all the great things that the studio created previously.

I sincerely hope that a buyer is found - and that these jobs can be saved.

Posted:4 years ago

#30

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
Well MMO games are never bug free and working perfect when they come out. I remember playing some popular MMORPG years ago when it came out and the first 6 month or so it was bugy and had very unstable servers with frequent shut server crashes and buged quests.

Posted:4 years ago

#31
*snip* Terrible news once again from a Scottish Studio. I hope people find new jobs soon. Most people will probably need to move south as this is a large number but as i have posted in the last few days Firebrand Games (Glasgow based as well as a Florida studio) are hiring. *snip*

For those who wish to stay in Scotland, Firebrand is debt free and profitable, as well as stable and with a great order book. *snip*

Good luck.

Mark

EDIT: This isn't the place for specific job ads - for that please use this page: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/jobs/

Edited 2 times. Last edit by a moderator on 18th August 2010 10:03am

Posted:4 years ago

#32

Stephen Hallett QA Manager, Tarsier Studios

1 0 0.0
Isn't it a little inappropriate to still have that flash advert for jobs at RTW on every page?

Posted:4 years ago

#33

Phil Elliott Project Leader, Collective; Head of Community (Live Team), Square Enix

163 29 0.2
We're aware of that - it's subject to a contract, which is due to expire shortly.

Posted:4 years ago

#34

Steven Anderson Studying Computer game technology, University of Abertay Dundee

2 0 0.0
Makes you wonder why any studio would gamble so much on one game.
I hope everyone at RTW finds new employment quickly, there are plenty of opportunities out there for talented people and i'm sure you will all be in demand.

Posted:4 years ago

#35

Ben Bateman Community Development Manager, Green Man Gaming

5 0 0.0
Thanks for all the kind worlds. In related news Activision Blizzard are holding a recruitment event on Thursday for everyone involved the redundancies. Head over to http://www.specialmove.com/_microsites/A... for more information

Posted:4 years ago

#36

Kyle Hatch Software Engineer, Pennant International Services LTD

22 1 0.0
its such a shame for all the people at RTW, but alot of question have to be asked about the big decisions taken in the last few years. I won't be asking them however, i may however be making a trip down to the apex thursday night.

Posted:4 years ago

#37
Looks like some Activision aid/rescue is at hand.

Posted:4 years ago

#38

Mark Faulkner Game Manager, Market Spring Pad Ltd

13 9 0.7
Good luck to all at Real Time Worlds, and not to be too mercenary about matters. SPIL Games is recruiting at the moment. *snip* If you feel like getting into the online/social gaming market place with a company thats going from strength to strength and like the idea of working in the Netherlands then drop us a line.

EDIT: I don't mind general notifications of companies hiring, but we do have a jobs page for anything more specific than that. Linking to any roles posted there is acceptable.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by a moderator on 18th August 2010 9:56am

Posted:4 years ago

#39

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,289 126 0.1
I just want to echo the sentiments above: good luck to everyone affected, and hopefully there will be some light at the end of the tunnel.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it -- I hate how one under-performing game can put a relatively big developer out of business these days.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 18th August 2010 9:50am

Posted:4 years ago

#40

Tim Laning Co-owner, Grendel Games

2 0 0.0
Best of luck to everybody involved. Times will changes for the better.

Posted:4 years ago

#41
indeed and the RTW has a big impact in Scotland/UK.

In contrast, the risks were large, the staff were large, ad the potential for profit was large.
Still, lets see what silver lining there is .

Posted:4 years ago

#42

Stuart Trevor 3D Generalist/Art Director

2 0 0.0
Another sad day for the British games industry, all the best to everyone who's affected.

Posted:4 years ago

#43

Saehoon Lee Lead technical artist, Kuno Interactive

50 3 0.1
nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Posted:4 years ago

#44

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