APB Reloaded had a rocky 2020 — but then again, who didn’t? To his credit, Little Orbit CEO Matthew Scott owned up to the difficulties APB faced in a blog post where he also looked ahead to 2021 with a roadmap for the game’s future.
Little Orbit’s 2020 hurdles included “a major project that cost the company millions of dollars held up in litigation.” The player base was high over the summer, but as the year closed out, the game’s concurrency numbers were at an all-time low, Scott said.
This year’s roadmap, Scott’s third since his company took over the game in 2018, came out a little late, owing to his decision to “largely disconnect from the computer” after the holidays and his desire to produce a better roadmap for 2021, following the “many road bumps last year and the year before that.” That said, he did present a list of accomplishments for 2020, including implementing an in-game store and the removal of Joker Mystery Boxes.
For the coming year, Scott hopes to finally launch APB 2.1 and its new engine, and he’s “in the process of signing deals with some Unreal 3.5 consultants that specialize in performance captures.” The dev team is going “line-by-line” through the code, and Scott hopes to provide progress posts as the project goes on.
The new version of the game will also come with a “detailed marketing plan with budgets, large partners, and targets,” followed by a finalization of console builds. That will require a shared codebase that will also let players play across regions, giving Little Orbit the ability to potentially implement phasing and other matchmaking improvements.
Unsurprisingly, launching a new version of the game will require another major improvement: a better new player experience. Scott said that the team will work out design ideas for that over the next few weeks and will welcome help from mentor players to help acclimate new players.