Blog

APB Release Date and Prices Announced

On sale July 2nd, with an unusual way to pay

APB is cops versus robbers in a fashionistas paradise, casting players loose in an open city and pitching them against each other to do batlte with guns, cars and hairstyles. It's on sale July 2nd in the UK, July 1st in Europe and June 29th in North America. But how will you pay for it?

Zoom

The game will cost £35 to buy in shops, and will give players 50 hours of unlimited play.

After that, they can continue for free in the social areas of the game - small areas designed specifically for custom content creation, music performance and socialising.

If players want to continue in the game's core action aspects, however, they'll need to purchase further time. That can be done in a number of ways. £5.59 will get you a further 20 hours of play, or you can opt to purchase an unlimited 30-day period for £7.99, with discounts available for 90 or 180 day packs.

Players are also able to earn further game time by selling their created items (clothing, tattoos, music, etc.) on the in-game marketplace.

Zoom

While technically an MMO - APB takes place on servers filled with hundreds or thousands of other players - its developers have never been comfortable with that term. The payment model reflects all the things they want to accomplish with APB.

APB's city of San Paro is split into two region types: action, and social. The action regions are where the Criminals and Enforcers will fight one another, taking missions to smash shops, steal cars, and to assassinate or arrest other players.

The social regions are designed for creating custom content, performing your created music publically and meeting with friends.

While there will of course be crossover, each of these areas may appeal to different audiences. Developers Real-Time Worlds hope that the social aspects will attract players who would never be interested in a third-person action game.

Zoom

When we spoke to Lead Designer EJ Moreland last year, they were already thinking a lot about these things.

"We spent about six months in 2008 thinking about this," explained Moreland. "I took me and one other design member and spent most of that 6 months researching business models, payment methods, looking at more social focused games, IMVU, Second Life, more social apps."

If players of IMVU find something they like in APB customisation tools, they could play with them forever for free, creating great content for everyone else. That's smart.

But there's also a chance the payment model is too complicated to easily relate to a lot of those casual players. And for action gamers who like to play long hours, the 50 hour starting time might not last long.

Zoom

Speaking earlier this month to Dave Jones, he explained that players were playing more than expected each night.

"We thought our average play time in the evenings during the beta would be like maybe and hour, an hour and a half, because it's quite an intense game. But to be honest it's three hours now, on average for people in the evenings."

That means the average player may breeze through the 50 hours in around 16 days. When most subscription-model games offer at least a free month, that feels a little odd.

This payment model could either help APB reach two different audiences, or it could just end up satisfying no one.

Comments