Realtime Worlds goes into administration: 170 jobs lost

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#1 Posted by bunnyboiler (523 posts) -

R.I..P.
  
The Courier - Realtime Worlds goes into administration: 170 jobs lost 
Realtime Worlds goes into administration: 170 jobs lost

Dundee's economy has been dealt a savage blow today with the collapse of leading video games company Realtime Worlds, leading to the loss of 170 jobs.

The Realtime Worlds HQ in Dundee.

Staff were told their fate at a meeting at the company's West Marketgait HQ after senior management bowed to overwhelming financial pressure and called in administrators.


The mass sacking follows an announcement late last week that a further 60 staff dedicated to the company's new Project MyWorld game were being laid off.

Realtime's failure is a massive blow as the company has been held up as shining example of the direction in which a post-industrial Dundee needed to go in order to rebuild the city's shattered economy.

The company had hoped last month's launch of its ambitious online game All Points Bulletin (APB) would give it the perfect platform to take on the dominant World of Warcraft online game, which generates billions of dollars of revenues annually.

However, the PC-only title received a lukewarm reception and the business model it was built around — gamers having to pay a monthly subscription fee to keep playing rather than buying the game outright — has been criticised in some quarters.

Ken Pattullo and Paul Dounis of Begbies Traynor have now been appointed joint administrators. They said a consultation process is now under way with staff.

Prior to the administration, Realtime Worlds employed around 210 people.

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#2 Posted by Robitt (367 posts) -

Sucks for the guys and gals that were laid off, but from what I've gathered APB wasn't a quality product.

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#3 Posted by Tiwi (1422 posts) -

the APB people? too bad i say, a lot of talent los... wait... sad for them anyhow

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#4 Posted by beef_melody (374 posts) -

Shame for those involved, but I'm surprised it took this long.

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#5 Posted by Jimbo (10453 posts) -

Wow, what a fucking disaster.  The whole studio gambled on one game that never had a chance.

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#6 Posted by Ace829 (2106 posts) -
@tiwi said:
" the APB people? too bad i say, a lot of talent los... wait... sad for them anyhow "
Crackdown was a good game. They should have stuck to making part 2 instead of the other guys.
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#7 Edited by bunnyboiler (523 posts) -
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#8 Posted by Robitt (367 posts) -
@bunnyboiler said
And that one game cost $50 million to make: 
   
Wow. Dave Jones must be an amazing salesman. Goddamn.
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#9 Posted by JJWeatherman (14893 posts) -

Too bad. I think there's a lot of talented folks there that that unfortunately threw all their chips in a gamble that didn't pay off. Hopefully some of the team will be able to start up game development again sometime soon.

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#10 Posted by mosdl (3422 posts) -

I assume that APB may switch to a free-2-play model soon to try to recoup costs?

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#11 Posted by CookieMonster (2515 posts) -

Thats a bit of a gutter. I havn't heard anything of this APB game, but Crackdown 1 was a good game.

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#12 Posted by Sadisticham (279 posts) -

Wonder what happens to APB. Surely they can't shut the game down it's only just launched.

I didn't buy it for the record I'm just wondering how legal it is to take peoples money and then not..provide the product. Seems very irresponsible on there part attemping such a thing when there not finanically stable enough to support it.

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#13 Posted by Shasam (494 posts) -

That sucks, it's always bad to see any studio go under. Unfortunately , they made an average game when what they needed was something AAA, a quality that the original concept definitely seemed to have. 

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#14 Posted by swamplord666 (1816 posts) -

Really sucks for the people working there but both crackdown and APB were very sketchy products. In the end one of them was a success (even giving it a particular style), the other wasn't (from what i heard). 

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#15 Posted by Hamz (6899 posts) -

Unfortunate to see people losing their jobs under any circumstances but it's somewhat disheartening to see an entire company enter bankruptcy because they gambled it all on a single product which flopped.
 
Any word on what this means for APB itself? Perhaps another studio will buy and run it?

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#16 Edited by ProfessorEss (7920 posts) -

They should try and make some money by selling their character customization from APB as middle-ware.
 
I kinda feel for them, but at the same time they should've known better than to throw everything into a sub-par, PC-only game with the hopes of nickle & diming their way to riches?
 
The second they announced the pricing structure for APB you could clearly see the bulk of interest in the game drop through the floor, and that anything short of a AAA reaction was going to kill it. They should've been honest themselves and realized that their mediocre product was not going to warrant the price tags slapped all over this thing.

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#17 Posted by Afroman269 (7440 posts) -

That's a shame, they should have stuck with Crackdown.

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#18 Posted by buzz_killington (3654 posts) -

I hate to say it, but that's what you get for gambling all your money on two (APB and MyWorld) stupidly ambitious and destined-to-fail MMOs at once. Not even the biggest game developers develop two MMOs at once. That's just stupid. Bad management and stupid ideas... so yeah.

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#19 Posted by CenturionCajun (1573 posts) -

Well, the Gamespot article paints a slightly less bleak picture but the company is definitely in Administration. APB is apparently going to continue operation and updates with no interruption. They are in "consultation" with the 240 or so Realtime World's employees. What that exactly means who knows as I'm not up on my bankruptcy lingo.

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#20 Posted by Steve_C (1768 posts) -

It's a damn shame, though not entirely unsurprising. A bit more painful, being an Englishman planning to get into this industry.
 
An ex-employee laid out a pretty fascinating account of events. Worth a read.
 
I just hope a new or even multiple studios arise out of the fallout.

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#21 Posted by Hamz (6899 posts) -
@CenturionCajun: The 'consultation' with the 240 employees probably involves discussion about redundancy packages and any outstanding payments & bills to employees for services and work done by them that they've yet to be paid for.
 
Not to mention I imagine a fair bit of begging will be needed to persuade some folks to stay on as a much needed skeleton crew runs the company for a while.
 
Whatever actually happens it's fair to say Realtime Worlds as we know it is essentially finished. The administration company hired to handle this problem will do what all similar companies do and that is either find a buyer who's willing to purchase the entire business or sell it off to multiple buyers in small chunks. So it's possible APB and all assets relating too it get bought by someone else who continues to run the game.
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#22 Posted by CenturionCajun (1573 posts) -

I'm conflicted as to how I feel about all of this. On the one hand I can't say that I'm terribly surprised. APB was...poor at best and in no way will redeem it's ludicrous production costs and time spent making it. However, I can never be happy about people losing their jobs. Even if they somewhat brought that about by making a lackluster product. I can only hope that they all find jobs quickly and learn from this experience. Hell, can you imagine the irony if a few of them end up over at Ruffian Games?

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#23 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13807 posts) -
@Hamz said:
" @CenturionCajun: The 'consultation' with the 240 employees probably involves discussion about redundancy packages and any outstanding payments & bills to employees for services and work done by them that they've yet to be paid for.  Not to mention I imagine a fair bit of begging will be needed to persuade some folks to stay on as a much needed skeleton crew runs the company for a while.  Whatever actually happens it's fair to say Realtime Worlds as we know it is essentially finished. The administration company hired to handle this problem will do what all similar companies do and that is either find a buyer who's willing to purchase the entire business or sell it off to multiple buyers in small chunks. So it's possible APB and all assets relating too it get bought by someone else who continues to run the game. "
Maybe it will go free to play like it was supposed to be. Or maybe it will be taken down. Who knows 
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#24 Posted by Karn (714 posts) -

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck

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#25 Posted by CenturionCajun (1573 posts) -

Who knows. I can only go by what the article says and that's that it will continue as is with no interruption. I'm quite curious as to how this will affect the massive list of changes they said were in the works.

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#26 Posted by mosespippy (4748 posts) -

IMO they made bad business decisions and bad game design decisions and took way too long to release their product. If they were better at their jobs they would still have them.

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#27 Posted by BabyChooChoo (6299 posts) -

Never a good thing to see a ton of people lose jobs like this, but what can I say...APB was dead long before it came out the gate.

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#28 Posted by Steve_C (1768 posts) -
@mosespippy said:
" IMO they made bad business decisions and bad game design decisions and took way too long to release their product. If they were better at their jobs they would still have them. "
That's a pretty harsh, and frankly, ignorant way to look at things isn't it? I'd say only a minority of employees gets a say in the design. Not that it was just the game itself that screwed them over, but the business model too. Still, it's the decisions of a few that fucked everyone and the company over in the end.
 
Again, i'll reiterate that people should read this comment. It might give you some perspective.
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#29 Posted by Lemoncookie01 (1663 posts) -

Ouch,170 people

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#30 Posted by CenturionCajun (1573 posts) -

Well, the layoffs have happened. Of the 210 staff in Dundee 157 lost their jobs and in Colorado 28 of 42 lost their jobs. That means a drop from a staff of 238 to 67. Ouch. Begbies Traynor, the bankruptcy firm handling this, says that Realtime Worlds Ltd.'s debt is only about $5 million dollars in the UK. That's nothing to sneeze at but seems like far less than what I would imagine in light of talk that the budget was somewhere about $50 million.
 
On the bright side both The Creative Assembly and Blitz Games Studios have vowed to hire as many of those who lost their jobs as they can. So, it's good to see the industry supporting it's fallen brethren. Still, sad overall.

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#31 Posted by CenturionCajun (1573 posts) -

The bizarre drama at Realtime Worlds continues as they have now hired back 23 employees. Apparently they're going to be assigned to the Myworld Project. Good news for Realtime and Dundee.

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