Sponsored By

Report: TimeSplitters dev Free Radical may shut down again

The two-year old revived iteration of Free Radical Design may be closed down again as Embracer continues its months long company restructure.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

November 8, 2023

2 Min Read
Sergeant Cortez in key art for Timesplitters: Future Perfect.
Image via Free Radical Design/EA.

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 IIIa 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.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like