David Jones, creator of the Grand Theft Auto series and founder of Realtime Worlds, has joined Reloaded Productions to assist in development of APB Reloaded.
Jones left DMA Design – now Rockstar North – to set up Realtime Worlds in 2002, but after success with early Xbox 360 exclusive Crackdown the firm closed its doors last September. Central to its closure was the failure of APB, a PC MMOG that was in development for five years. Free-to-play specialist GamersFirst picked up the rights last November, and is to relaunch the game as APB Reloaded later this year.
Now Jones is to return to APB, taking up an advisory role at GamersFirst's Reloaded Productions, which is handling development of the game. GamersFirst’s Bjorn Book-Larsson said: "The opportunity to have David reconnect with us during the production of the game has been great and it lets us take advantage of both a deeper understanding of the original vision of APB, as well as leveraging the strengths of the free-to-play model."
Jones said: "This game was my passion back when I was developing it with Realtime Worlds, and I’m extremely excited to be able to participate in fulfilling the long term vision for the title. After seeing what the team has done with the game thus far, I’m certain that APB Reloaded will become the title that truly breaks new ground for online game experiences, especially with the transition to a free-to-play model."
GamersFirst is launching an open beta for the game on May 18. Over 100,000 people applied to take part in the closed beta in February.