Free Radical Design, the studio best known for the Timesplitters series, is in danger of closing down a second time. Per VGC, the Nottingham-based developer is at risk due to the current restructuring program of its parent company, Embracer.
Sources speaking to the outlet explained that Free Radical staff have been informed the studio is under evaluation and may be closed. UK law requires the Plaion (which oversees the developer) to consult employees for 30 days minimum before doing any type of redundancies and must find ways to avoid them.
VGC noted that should a third party be interested in buying the studio, it will remain open. Even so, the outlet acknowledged several Free Radical staff are already posting on LinkedIn that they're looking for work.
The original iteration of Free Radical went under in 2009 following the release of its PlayStation 3-exclusive shooter Haze from the previous year. At one point, it was working on Star Wars Battlefront III, a series whose original developer Pandemic Studios closed in 2008.
Crytek then acquired the studio in 2009 and rebranded it as Crytek UK, where it co-developed 2011's Crysis 2 and led development on the multiplayer port for 2013's Crysis 3.
Crytek UK was set to develop Homefront: The Revolution, but sources within the company alleged Crytek had withheld pay and bonuses for several years. The Homefront IP was later sold to Koch Media, and the Nottingham office was quietly shut down.
In 2021, Deep Silver reformed Free Radical with original co-founders Steve Ellis and David Doak, and tasked them with reviving its first-person shooter series, TimeSplitters. The original TimeSplitters was released in 2000, with two sequels following shortly after. 2005's TimeSplitters: Future Perfect was the last entry in the series.
Hand in hand with the studio revival was the news that TimeSplitters 4 was in development. But with the studio once again at risk of shutting down, time may be out for the beloved B-series.