EA Predicted APB's Poor Reception

Tom Goldman

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Aug 17, 2009
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EA Predicted APB's Poor Reception



EA Partners was able to foresee the critical and retail demise of APB, which may have destroyed developer Realtime Worlds.

Realtime Worlds' APB was unfortunately administration [http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/apb] and forcing layoffs. In a seemingly rare case of honesty, EA Partners, which signed a deal to provide distribution support for APB, says it knew the game was going to be criticized for its issues.

EA Partners head David DeMartini told GI.biz [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-19-ea-expected-apbs-review-scores] that it tried to warn Realtime Worlds of a possible poor reception. "We did suggest that where it landed from a review score standpoint was where we thought it was going to land from a review score standpoint," he said.

He reveals that EA was "advising" Realtime Worlds about where it thought APB was near the time of release, and possibilities about the decisions they could make for the title's future. He continued: "I imagine they think they could have done some things differently at this point, but hindsight's always 20-20."

DeMartini overall seems to feel terrible about the whole situation, and wonders if there even was a good decision that Realtime Worlds could have made or a way that EA could have helped. "Everybody thinks that they should have just hung onto it a longer time, but 300-400 people cost a lot on a monthly," he said. "I don't know the specifics of their situation but you need to have financial backing in order to have your enterprise up and running, so it certainly wasn't our decision."

According to DeMartini, APB has elements such as the "customization/character creation" that are "worth the money," but says it's unfortunate that an idea with such "tremendous promise" wasn't able to deliver as its creators hoped. It seems like APB ended up on a downward slope at one point that was so steep, nobody involved with the game was able to save it.

Source: GI.biz

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ASnogarD

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Jul 2, 2009
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Probably due to the fact EA pushed through the premature relaease and forced the unusual payment scheme...sorry, even WoW doesnt muster the power to justify a buy the game, and pay for the time you actually play scheme.

Take note designers, most players dont want to be arsed with fancy pay per hour shite, most would merely ask how much per month and then tell you to STFU till the next billing. Mess with the formulae and you already take a huge hit in popularity, so if the product dont match the audicity of the payment scheme... welcome to the dole.
 

icyneesan

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Tis such a shame, character creation looked amazing to me. And thats all I really care about in my MMOs
 

Tom Goldman

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ASnogarD said:
Probably due to the fact EA pushed through the premature relaease and forced the unusual payment scheme...sorry, even WoW doesnt muster the power to justify a but the game, and pay for the time you actually play scheme.

Take note designers, most players dont want to be arsed with fancy pay per hour shite, most would merely ask how much per month and then tell you to STFU till the next billing. Mess with the formulae and you already take a huge hit in popularity, so if the product dont match the audicity of the payment scheme... welcome to the dole.
Well now, aren't you an uninformed little troll...

APB has a normal monthly fee you can pay as well, to play as long as you like. They just chose to also include another option on top of that, where you can pay for hours instead, at a flat non-monthly cost, in case you know you won't be able to play much monthly so that the 10hr fee wouldn't be worth it.
 

imgunagitusucka

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If they had of had more servers to accomodate the australasian market, and released it for the 360, they would of had a chance.
 

mad825

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ASnogarD said:
Probably due to the fact EA pushed through the premature relaease
premature? the game had been in development for nearly 5 years!!

I dont think giving the time that the developers want, would have made it a better game anyway
 

Vladamir69

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The thing is that the Beta was a knife to the chest. People could experience the game... and then learn of how boring and repetitive it was. Even with the best character creation screen I've seen it still wouldn't be able to save this game.
 

WanderingFool

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I had high hopes for this game, but once I saw the lot of it in action, greatly dissapointed. And that was before they revealed the pay to play...
 

SenseOfTumour

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Ao they'd heard bad things, been informed that reviewers were not happy with the game, and instead of going 'well, that's unfortunate, but at least we still have time to improve the weak points and make a better game that people want to play' they went 'well, we've invested about $50 million in this...we don't really care, lets just launch it, forget about it, and try something else'.

Makes no sense that if you're warned there's big problems with your game that you don't try to fix it, instead just launching something inferior knowing it'll bomb hard.

To be fair to AsnogarD, I wasn't really sure about the billing either, I just knew there was something about a monthly fee and a fee to play per hour too, and I think that put a lot of people off, not that there were options, but that some gaming behemoth like EA couldn't blow the marketing dollar on getting some facts out in the gaming press about HOW this game was going to work.

also, again, it's only what I've heard, I admit I didn't do a lot of research into this game, but I heard it was heavily based on PVP. That's fine, but if you take a look at WOW (yes, I'm going there...), I think one of the masterstrokes of Blizzard was to create an MMO where you can play pretty much right thru to 80 and beyond without ever having to team up with other people. Sure, there's a LOT of miltiplayer content, but you're rarely forced into teaming when you don't want to.
 

RvLeshrac

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Oct 2, 2008
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ASnogarD said:
Probably due to the fact EA pushed through the premature relaease and forced the unusual payment scheme...sorry, even WoW doesnt muster the power to justify a buy the game, and pay for the time you actually play scheme.

Take note designers, most players dont want to be arsed with fancy pay per hour shite, most would merely ask how much per month and then tell you to STFU till the next billing. Mess with the formulae and you already take a huge hit in popularity, so if the product dont match the audicity of the payment scheme... welcome to the dole.
Absolutely nothing in the above post is true.

EA didn't push the release. EA didn't force the payment "scheme." That was entirely the developers.

Sounds like one of Brad's apologists after Vanguard collapsed at launch. "Sony forced him to release the game!," conveniently ignoring the YEARS of completely missed release dates and development milestones.

RTW even pulled a Vanguard with APB, re-writing half of the game mere weeks to launch.
 

Blue Musician

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Maybe this can be fixed with free DLC!

I mean, the game just needs more content, and if it has the same level of support as TF2 and every Valve game it can become a really great game.

But since it's from EA, I wonder if they are even interested on this prospect...
 

Tom Goldman

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Aug 17, 2009
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i think this is an "almost" game

it could have been huge if they had ironed out a few things and made it free to play online like an FPS is. the basic structure and premise of the game seems pretty sound to me and somewhat unique thus far in online games. tbh i expect to see the franchise picked up by someone else further down the road.
 

Snooder

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It's pretty clear what killed the game; lack of content. PC gamers are pretty well used to lag and polish issues, and for every person who hated the pay per hour scheme, someone else liked the freedom of not being tied to a monthly contract.

The REAL issue is that any MMO has to have a story and mission structure to get people logging in day after day and not feeling ripped off when they get the bill. RTW promised an immersive world with a very interesting story and instead they delivered a clone of GTAIV's multiplayer with a half-assed 'quest' system that you have to pay for every month. Spending half the effort they did on character customization on hiring a few good writers would have gone a long, long way.

Honestly, people forget what made GTA so great. It wasn't the sandbox. That was nice and all, and a great way to extend the game's lifespan, but ultimately what made the 3D GTAs the enduring classics they are was the story.
 

theultimateend

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I got into the game.

Played the Tutorial and was like "Alright neat."

Got into the WORLD and almost immediately was blown to hell by a couple of guys with, what looked like, automatic shotguns.

I respawned...they were still outside.

"Hmmm...I could continue playing this game and get nowhere or go play any other MMO and have fun."

I chose the latter :/. I really hate forced PVP. That's why I quit wow initially, before someone slapped me in the face (metaphorically) and said "Hey artard you don't have to play a PVP server."
 

cerebus23

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things that killed it was 100 million for small maps, horrible driving controls, horrible balance issues, bad matchmaking mechanics, fact you could buy gta4 and play multiplayer for free with more city to explore better handling cars and better balance.

they must have spent 3/4 of their budget on the custom junk and the rest making that tiny city and bad fps gameplay.

if your going to make a game sandbox than give people a sandbox to play in. if you want it to be pvp centered give them a huge city with different factions holding zones and fighting for control of stuff and not some pvp grind crap that did nothing but get you points to buy junk and get some new gfx for your tee shirt designs. give them cars, bikes, motorcycles and make them handle well even on keyboard.

give us places like banks, museums, stores, gunshops, gang hangouts, to raid for rep, the deeper into enemy territory the bigger rewards for taking it over and holding it. stop the npc spam canned missions and let players plan out a strategy let them pick the targets and then let the npc dispatchers rally the sides to try and stop the other.

they went half way with the whole game, they wanted a pvp sandbox game and half assed it, they neutered it by having npcs send out out endlessly to do pointelss garbage, that amounted to less than nothing but rep grinds. and they never really balanced out weapons period, shoguns were way overpowered and automatic rifles were like bb guns. they could have done a ton to improve apb they could have balanced things out at the very lest before the end of beta.

but give my gta4 any day if i want to go blow things up with other players or shoot other players i can do it for free and in a city that is a hell of alot bigger and more interesting than the tiny zones in apb.
 

Altorin

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300-400 people? it was really that bad?

like, 400 people bought the game and subscribed?
 

Bretty

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And now some schmuck got tats and piercings for no reason at all!

I think the funniest thing is that the old excuse for MMOs failing was always in the Dev time. WoW always being the benchmark of 5 years. WAR was 3-4 years and look how close it came to succeeding. APB just proved one thing (besides the fact that 5 years =/= a good game). People that play MMOs are not the same people that play shooters like APB. They are not 'rudeboys' that usually pimp their rides and think that clothing makes a person. Yes I am generalizing here but I think my point is clear enough to see through it. The GTA audience will never invest in MMOs.

The problem with APB is that the ACTUAL game was just not well received. Sure the ideas were great but it takes a whole lot of overall to make an MMO. I played WoW for 5+ years now based on the fact that there was so much that I could do. I played APB for three days before realizing that I just didn't think the time and effort needed to continue is what I would class as fun.

This is why I think games like the new SW MMO have to pull something out of the hat. I, like many of you, want a game without the typical elves, orks and dwarfs. But the problem is that WoW has not only the market share but the majority of all MMO players playing it.

The question is now, what will bring those players away from what they have known and loved. WAR tried with PvP (hands down best MMO PvP in my opinion) but with so many players dropping out so quickly the availability of varied PvP/RvR/ORvR just killed it (but I am interested to see how their new small expacs will do).

Blaming EA at this point is just retarded and childish. It shows that you REALLY don't know what you are talking about, so please stop wasting the internet with that uninformed trash.