British development studio Free Radical appears to be on the verge of extinction. The planned return of the TimeSplitters shooter series is more in question than ever.
There was great joy in May 2021 when Free Radical Design regrouped to work on a return to the TimeSplitters shooter series. Now the future of the studio, and thus the future of the new shooter, is more in question than ever.
The development studio based in Great Britain is currently affected by layoffs and will likely close completely in the near future. According to a report issued by History of video games The Nottingham studio is part of Embracer Group’s plans in its current restructuring process. Although a final decision has not yet been made, Free Radical staff have been informed that the branch may close completely.
Free Radical Design is part of the Embracer collection across Deep Silver and PLION. UK law requires owners to notify employees at least 30 days in advance of any redundancy/closure. Opportunities to avoid layoffs should also be looked for. However, it appears that 15 employees have already been laid off; Corresponding information can be found on LinkedIn and social media posts. This should also include high-level staff such as Free Radical’s Senior Artist, Senior Art Artist, Lead Game Designer, Game Designer, and IT Director.
One solution could be to sell Embracer Group to Free Radical instead of shutting it down. However, the Swedish mother must first find an interested buyer. Embracer had previously shut down its once-iconic development studio Volition after a 30-year history with franchises like Saints Row and Red Faction. And: Borderlands and Homeworld publisher Gearbox, which Embracer acquired in April 2021, could also be sold.
As for what happens in Free Radical Design, it’s unclear what will happen next with the planned return of TimeSplitters. Since the original announcement in May 2021, no specific details have been announced about the new TimeSplitters game that Free Radical has been working on since then. It is not known how far this work has progressed.
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