GamersFirst: "Scotland would be a fine place to have a permanent office"
New APB owner considers Euro premises in UK or Germany
Free to play MMO firm GamersFirst, the new owner of notorious MMO APB, is considering opening an office in the UK when the time comes to found a European HQ.
When questioned by GamesIndustry.biz on the possibility of employing or contracting former Realtime Worlds staff members, CCO and CTO Bjorn Book-Larsson stated that "We are open to talking to everyone who was associated with the original game," though acknowledged that many staff had scattered to other firms.
In the event that a number of ex-staff were contracted and the relaunched game proved successful, it was possible that a Scottish office could be opened.
"Absolutely. Basically, the one thing we don't have at the moment is a European office, which is something we've been looking at.
"We have looked at Hamburg in Germany, but what we're looking at now potentially is.... Well, Scotland would certainly be a fine place to have a permanent office. We'd consider that for sure."
Government incentives - or the lack thereof - would not be a deciding factor in this decision, Book-Larsson suggested. "It would be more about being a strategic location for us than anything else.
"Which is why Germany could also be a good one... I'm not sure that we're aware of what the various incentives are, so we haven't considered those."
While GamersFirst has not revealed the sum paid for APB (to be relaunched in the first half of 2011 as APB: Reloaded), Book-Larsson did reveal that the game had other suitors. "There were several interested parties for sure. We happened to run into some of them too... So we know who they were.
"It wasn't really a bidding war, I wouldn't say, but it was pretty clear that in order to be competitive you probably had to consider this as something you were going to invest quite a lot of effort into. And I think some people are probably more opportunistic in wanting to only pick up a piece or two."
For the full interview with Bjorn Book-Larsson, in which he also discusses how straightforward it will be to convert APB to free to play and why the company is happy to not make money on the game during its first year, please click here.