Electronic Arts' EA Partners division has announced a deal with Scottish developer Realtime Worlds to distribute and market GTA
-like PC MMO All Points Bulletin (APB)
in North America and Europe in "early 2010".
developer Realtime Worlds was founded in 2002 by industry veteran David Jones, late of DMA Design (now Rockstar North) and creator of Lemmings
and Grand Theft Auto 1&2
This new, much-awaited project, which has been in development for a number of years, "takes the universal theme of Criminals and Enforcement and brings it to a persistent, open world multiplayer setting in a modern, crime-ridden city."
The announcement continues a string of high-profile titles that have signed with EA Partners for help with distribution and marketing, but not necessarily full funding for creating the game.
Realtime Worlds has a total of $81 million in funding to date, including a $50 million second round
in early 2008, and joins other recent EA Partners signings including Double Fine's Brutal Legend
and Crytek's Crysis 2
"Throughout his career David Jones has continually forged new creative paths in interactive entertainment," said David DeMartini, Senior Vice President and General Manager, EA Partners. "David and the team at Realtime Worlds are set to do it once again with APB. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with them in introducing online persistence to 3rd person, open-world action games and defining a new category within the genre."