Free Radical Design, the UK-based developer behind the beloved TimeSplitters franchise, could be at risk of closure from Embracer Group despite being bought by the company two years ago with the goal to revive the series. A number of studio layoffs have been taking place at Embracer this week including its COO, Egil Strunke.
Sources have told Video Games Chronicle that Free Radical has been part of Embracer’s evaluation process in its efforts to restructure the company over the past six months. Staff at Free Radical were reportedly told to prepare for the likelihood of the studio shutting its doors. The closure has yet to be confirmed by Embracer, though at least 15 employees have updated their LinkedIn profiles over the past 24 hours seeking new work, only adding fuel to the fire.
Some known studios under Embracer Group had already been closed including Saints Row developer Volition while others had apparently been put up for sale such as Borderlands creator Gearbox Software. Embracer might’ve bitten off more than it can chew as it’s now possibly on the verge of closing down Free Radical as well, putting hundreds of potential jobs at risk.
However, there’s a chance that Free Radical could remain open if a third party shows interest in acquiring the developer from Embracer, though judging by reports of former employees already seeking work on LinkedIn, it seems like a decision has already been made. We’ll likely get confirmation of Free Radical’s fate as Embracer’s earnings report is due next week. The company has failed to comment on the reports.
Meanwhile, the TimeSplitters revival is also at risk of being scrapped entirely unless another studio is able to acquire the IP. The series has seen several cancelled projects in the past including TimeSplitters 4 and potential remasters or remakes.
Source: Video Games Chronicle