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APB Eschews Traditional Subscription, Partners With Vindicia

Upcoming urban PC MMO APB won't use the traditional subscription model, developer Realtime Worlds has revealed, as the studio partners with billing and fraud management firm Vindicia.
Realtime Worlds is moving away from the "traditional monthly subscription model" with its upcoming urban PC MMO APB, and the studio has contracted Redwood City-based Vindicia to provide billing services and fraud management. The game's official FAQ confirms the adoption of a non-traditional revenue model, although it does not specify the terms of payment. The game will, at least in part, be distributed on retail shelves. According to a statement released today, Vindicia's Cashbox solution will allow the game to support numerous revenue streams, including subscriptions as well as virtual goods and currencies, and will guard against customer fraud, while "optimizing customer acquisition and retention." In a statement, the company called online games "particularly vulnerable when it comes to fraudulent activity," across a variety of types of fraud, monetary or otherwise -- including what it describes as "friendly fraud" by way of chargebacks. Said Vindicia CEO Gene Hoffman, "Launching an online game is a great challenge for any game developer. ...Merchants like Realtime Worlds are building commerce models that maximize customer retention and revenue, and Vindicia is ideally positioned to support how their products reach their fullest potential." The game will also allow for varying currencies worldwide, as well as player communication in numerous languages. APB's retail box is being distributed by Electronic Arts' EA Partners division, and is expected to launch on PC in early 2010 -- with console versions having previously been discussed but not currently confirmed.

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