APB will disappoint developers if it can’t move a million+ copies

“I’ll be disappointed if we can’t sell a million plus,” said Realtime Worlds’ head honcho Dave Jones in an interview with VG247.

He is of course referring to APB, the company’s extremely ambitious and extremely expensive ($30 million poured into development so far) massively multiplayer online game that trades the standard fantasy setting for a gritty, grimy metropolis. But even with the yet to be clarified non-traditional subscription model, which promises to ditch the monthly fees in favor of something more “flexible” and “unique,” Jones’ figure seems rather…optimistic. But that’s just the start.

“The next thing then is how long they [the million] remain a part of the APB community in an ongoing basis. That’s a hard one to put a number on,” he said. “I expect a little bit of a drop off from that potentially but really I want to grow this game. As we start to look at what people want, what they’re screaming out for more of – as they start to speak to their friends and say these are the kinds of things we want in it – ideally we want to grow that userbase.”

APB is just one of several new MMO’s on the horizon, and unlike Star Wars: The Old Republic or Star Trek Online, doesn’t have the benefit of a built-in fanbase to move copies. That being said, I think it would be a mistake to laugh off Jones’ statement as wishful thinking. Everyone who’s had hands-on time with the title has walked away impressed, especially when it comes to the depth and breadth of the character customization tools. Whether or not it turns out to be the next World of Warcraft, it’s certainly going to draw in a hell of a lot of gamers that may not have otherwise been interested in online gaming, myself included. Who wouldn’t want to be part of the most massive game of cops and robbers ever conceived?