THE continuing resurgence of free-to-play online game All Points Bulletin will step up a gear later this month, with the game set to receive a top-down tactical shooter companion game available on iOS.
The ambitious freeform massively multiplayer online title has amassed more than three million registered users since it was acquired by Edinburgh studio Reloaded Productions and relaunched as a free-to-play title.
The game was originally developed by the now-defunct Dundee-based studio Realtime Worlds.
The cops and robbers-style game, which allows players to assume the role of a licensed vigilante or a hardened criminal in the crime-ravaged metropolis of San Paro, continues to attract a loyal fanbase nearly two years after its reboot. According to Steam statistics, more than 4,300 players were active yesterday afternoon alone.
Now, Reloaded has joined forced with another Edinburgh company, Blazing Griffin, to create APB Retribution, a title “set in the same universe” as the main game.
Both companies came together after a chance meet at trade expo China Joy in 2012. Realising that they both shared the same street in Edinburgh, they began to build upon their collaborative relationship. A pitch was made by Blazing Griffin in March 2013 to Reloaded for the game, with development starting in early June.
The project has seen Blazing Griffin undergo a significant expansion, nearly doubling the size of its team from six to 11 in less than six months.
Peter van der Watt, the firm’s managing director, told Scotsman Games that it was attracted to APB because of the size of the fanbase.
He said: “One of the reasons we approached Reloaded with regards to a mobile project was due to APB’s fan base. With so many games coming out on mobile devices now, we believe this fan base could assist in solving the discoverability problem that many indies face on platforms like the App Store.”
Should APB Retribution prove successful, it could lead to other games based around a franchise many thought would wither and die after the demise of Realtime Worlds.
van der Watt added: “Retribution is a companion game where we have been able to explore and create stories in the APB universe based on the lore that already existed for the city of San Paro. Depending on the success of this first venture outside the MMO, there may be numerous other opportunities to expand upon the brand.”
Michael Boniface, managing director at Reloaded, said: “Working alongside Blazing Griffin has allowed us to expand and explore a different aspect of the APB universe, whilst still concentrating on content creation for APB Reloaded. This is something that would not have been possible without undertaking in this co-development experience.”
Featuring a new twist on a familiar setting, APB Retribution takes the player away from the main streets of San Paro and drops them into the thriving underworld of the city’s dilapidated backstreets.
APB Retribution is due for release on iOS devices, with other platforms to follow.