Project MyWorld buyer revealed - Report

Former Realtime Worlds chairman Ian Hetherington said to have purchased social gaming platform to bring to market at new company, Kimble Operations.

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Realtime Worlds' collapse in August left a number of unanswered questions relating to the future of its online shooter APB and social gaming platform Project MyWorld. For APB, Realtime Worlds' closure left the game officially shuttered, but bankruptcy firm Begbies Traynor has said that it is actively seeking a buyer for the game. Speculation indicates the game may be acquired and relaunched by another company. Project MyWorld, on the other hand, has been bought, though its purchaser had been shrouded in mystery.

Project MyWorld's buyer appears to have surfaced.
Project MyWorld's buyer appears to have surfaced.

It appears as if that mystery has now been resolved, as Gamasutra reports this week that the secretive buyer is Kimble Operations. The company is headed by former Realtime Worlds chairman Ian Hetherington, whose other industry credits include cofounding Wipeout studio Psygnosis (now known as Sony's Studio Liverpool).

"MyWorld was bought a few weeks back by Kimble Operations, which is basically Ian Hetherington, as he wanted the project to get to market," Tahir Rashid, one-time senior artist on Project MyWorld, told the industry news site. After departing Realtime Worlds, Rashid reportedly took a position as co-company director and art department head at independent studio Electric TopHat.

"There are 20 people left from the original MyWorld team that decided to stay with it. We are very pleased the project is not dead and look forward to them getting it out the door," Rashid continued.

Though APB took more than five years to reach market, its life span was a short one. The game launched in late June to a tepid reception. However, within days, Realtime Worlds had announced a "small number" of layoffs and soon acknowledged a laundry list of fixes and improvements it intended to make. The bottom fell out in August, though, when the Scottish developer entered administration (akin to bankruptcy for an American company) and subsequently laid off 185 people. Administration firm Begbies Traynor later rehired 23 members of the 60-person Project MyWorld team to continue work on the project.

Begbies Traynor had not returned requests for comment as of press time.

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