Redundant APB Staff: 'No Direction' In Company
Former staff blame poor management decisions for company's collapse.
After APB developers Realtime Worlds slipped into administration last week, former employees have started lifting the lid at what went wrong within the company.
One anonymous former employee under the name of 'ExRTW' writes:
"... The real [APB] killer, IMO, is the business model. This was out of the team's hands. The game has issues, but I think if you separate the business model from the game itself, it holds up at least a little better.
"The problem was that management looked at the revenue they wanted to generate and priced accordingly, failing to realise (or care) that there are literally a dozen top quality, subscription free team based shooters. Many of which, now, have progression and persistence of some sort - for free.
"Many of us within RTW were extremely nervous at APB's prospects long before launch, and with good reason, as it turns out. The sheer time spent and money it took to make APB is really a product of fairly directionless creative leadership. Certainly [co-founder] Dave [Jones] has great, strong, ambitious ideas for his games. But he's a big believer in letting the details emerge along the way, rather than being planned out beyond even a rudimentary form.
"RTW tried something bold, and fucked it up. Ultimately, the senior management team must take responsibility. I think they had far too much focus on the company's 'strategic direction' and not enough on day-to-day execution, which was where it really matters. And I think a huge part of the blame lies with Dave J, though I can't emphasise enough how nice a man he is personally; ultimately APB has torpedoed the company, and it failed largely under his creative leadership.
"It has other issues (technical, for instance), but the design and the business plan are largely down to him and the board, and they are what have failed so irrevocably for the rest of us."
A six-year member of the Realtime Worlds team, Luke Halliwell, wrote on his blog:
"I must say I was shocked at quite how quickly it went down in the end. It felt like we were being let go decently, and then BOOM - not getting paid anything, owed last month's wages, our notice periods, redundancy pay and unused holidays. A substantial amount of money, all told.
"There had been mounting discontent internally about the competence of our top management - and what better proof could you need than this. How they could keep operating the company when they couldn't even pay this month's wages, I don't know. Presumably they continued to think we had a chance somehow; the behaviour of a deluded, greedy, addicted gambler."
This sentiment was backed up by his own wife:
"Dave Jones and [co-founder] Ian Hetherington have pissed away millions, they are getting away with not paying over 200 employees for the work that they have done and have fiddled their way to being able to buy back Project: MyWorld for cheap. Moreover these very people have enough personal wealth to pay the money owed to the individuals and families whose lives they have left shattered, heck Dave could probably pay them all just by selling one of his beloved cars."
APB released on the PC in June of this year, Realtime Worlds entered administration earlier this month.