OverviewRealtime Worlds was a game development studio founded in 2002 by David Jones, who previously established DMA Design Limited and created notable franchises such as Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto. The company was based in Dundee, Scotland (UK) and it had a smaller US office called Realtime Worlds, Inc. located in Boulder, Colorado. In 2008 Realtime Worlds employed over 200 people.
The studio was formed around a core team of people from Rage Games Ltd. and Rage Games (Scotland) Limited. Upon the demise of Rage, Jones bought out the Scottish studio to form Realtime Worlds. The team's first project was the first-person shooter Mobile Forces (2002).
The first real game fully under the Realtime Worlds name was the Xbox 360 exclusive title Crackdown (2007), a city-based open world shooter that was received with praise. Immediately after the release of the game the studio started work on the sequel Crackdown 2, but publisher Microsoft dragged its feet giving the green light and RTW moved on to a new project in the meantime. The project was eventually handed to Ruffian Games, a start-up also located in Dundee, that had already attracted some RTW developers. In an interview Jones said he was miffed at that decision by Microsoft. Dave Jones was CEO of the company until Gary Dale left his COO position at Take-Two Interactive to become CEO at Realtime Worlds. Jones became the company's creative director.
The company's third game was APB: All Points Bulletin, a subscription-based MMOG about an urban struggle between teams of criminals and law enforcement, combining racing with third-person shooting. It debuted in June 2010, but was met with mixed reviews, tallying the lowest global review score of its three released titles. In the months after that, several employees were laid off.
Around the same time the studio announced to be working on Project: MyWorld. Described as “What would it look like if Nintendo built Google Earth?”, it used the mapping data of Google Earth to visualize a living, 3D environment of the entire world that could be customized by the players who could buy and refurbish property. It would integrate social media and aimed to offer mini-games to be played in the environment.
Shortly after the release of APB however, the company first announced to restructure in July 2010 to focus more on supporting the game, but in September 2010 it was announced the game's servers would be shut down. Already in August Realtime had entered into administration and eventually both offices were closed. By November 2010 no new buyer was found. The game was purchased by K2 Network for £1.5 million and all office equipment was sold.
TriviaThe company was named "Rookie Developer of 2007" by the online gaming magazine GameSpy.
Related Web Sites
- Wikipedia: Realtime Worlds (article in the open encyclopedia about the company)