The Story of the Week
Looking over the news of the past week, there are a few stories worth mentioning. First, the layoffs of some of Fallen Earth's big talents. My heart genuinely goes out to these folks. I know how hard it is to invest in a project, especially an indie project like FE, and then suddenly be done with it. It sucks. I'm sure though that these talented folks will land on their feet.
Second, I wanted to take a moment to mention the Stargate Worlds news that ownership of the game has reverted back to Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment. Not that there's anything that can be done now as MGM has revoked the license, but at least now we have a nice bookend to the drama that was this ill fated game. We don't often get TMZ-worthy drama in the world of MMO news, but SGW always managed to provide it.
Finally, I wanted to talk about the story that I, in my less than infinite wisdom, have dubbed the story of the week. Standing above the pack this time around was the news that All Points Bulletin, another ill-fated MMO project, has been picked up by another company. According to reports, K2 network, the company behind GamersFirst picked up the defunct Cops 'n' Robbers MMO for $2.42 million.
GamersFirst, obviously best known as a F2P service provider, will be looking at re-establishing the game as a F2P only service, something that many players believed should have been the case right from the beginning.
Will this move actually help APB and make it successful under new ownership? Maybe.
First of all, the $2.4 million price tag for the game is significantly lower than the cost Realtime Worlds incurred while creating it, lowering the baseline of financial success the second time around.
I think though, that the folks at GamersFirst have a bit of tweaking to do before players start flocking back to the game, under new management or not. The bottom line is that the same issues that kept players away from the Realtime Worlds version of the game still exist.
First and foremost on the minds of former players is whether or not the game's new owners will spend any time addressing the egregious amount of cheating that was going on under old management. Absolutely nothing destroys an online FPS worse than hackers and cheaters exploiting holes in the game's security.
So with that said, I honestly do believe that GamersFirst has the potential to really revive this title that really did have solid potential pre-launch. The thing is that the company, if they want to bring players back to the game, are going to have to do more than just slap their logo on the existing product. They're going to have to invest a little bit more than their $2.4 million to upgrade the game and make it shine. Whether they plan to do that or not, remains to be seen.