GamersFirst acquired the rights to APB: Reloaded last year and pledged to launch a new free-to-play model with premium options. GameSpot recently picked up on a post to the Facebook page of Paul G. Lombardi, founder of the publishing and distribution company IGS, who reportedly indicated that the company had picked up the rights to distribute the game and was targeting a North American retail launch later this year. That post has since been removed, but needless to say, speculation about the games pricing model and future ensued.
After the removal of the post, GamersFirst provided a statement to GameSpot stating that the game has attracted more than 600,000 players since its open beta launch last month and gained more than 250,000 followers on the games Facebook page. With the growing popularity of APB: Reloaded, several large institutions have approached GamersFirst about distributing the game, but GamersFirst emphasized that no decision has been made about a partner and that APB: Reloaded was developed with the free-to-play model in mind and any business distribution deal would be guided by that principle.
The fact that the game is free-to-play does not exclude the possibility of a retail launch. The April European launch of the free-to-play hacknslash MMORPG Mythos is a prime example. The game itself is free-to-play and can be downloaded for free from the Mythos website. But Frogster also offered a retail version of the game with a few extra goodies for players that didnt mind dishing out a little extra cash. Hey, free-to-play games need money to operate too.
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