Free-to-play publisher GamersFirst has added the post-apocalyptic MMO Fallen Earth to its growing stable of games.
The news arrives after a turbulent 18 months for Fallen Earth, with developer Icarus Studios axing 75 percent of its staff during a merger with Fallen Earth LLC in May 2010, and the loss of a further three key members of staff in November.
GamerFirst has experience with rescuing faltering MMOs, after its parent company, K2 Network, purchased the APB intellectual property rights following the collapse of Realtime Worlds last year. Like APB, Fallen Earth will be converted to a hybrid free-to-play model with a multi-tiered membership system.
Fallen Earth's 12-strong creative team will join GamersFirst's development studio, Reloaded Productions, where it will continue work on the forthcoming Alpha County expansion.
"By joining the Reloaded Productions team and becoming part of the GamersFirst family we can now continue delivering an uncompromising game experience for our die-hard fans." said lead designer Marie Croall. "Even better, the backing of an established global publisher also means we will share our game with millions of new players across the planet."
The transition to free-to-play is due to be completed in Q4 this year, and current players who maintain their subscriptions over that period will be eligible for "Veteran Rewards".
"We feel extremely lucky to bring this game into our family of free MMO games," said Joe Rush, vice president of game operations at GamersFirst. "This acquisition gives Fallen Earth instant economies of scale as part of the GamersFirst family, and by sharing our many years of revenue generation strategies and publishing expertise we expect the Fallen Earth franchise to continue growing for years to come."