Publisher Deep Silver, owned by the Embracer Group, announced in 2021 that TimeSplitters developer Free Radical is revamping the design. Now, a new report Video Games Chronicle This advanced Free Radical design is said to be facing a complete shutdown, adding to Embracer’s ongoing restructuring that led to the closure of studios like Saints Row developer Volition Games.
Yesterday, Embracer COO Egil Strunke reportedly announced his resignation from the position to start a new game company. PC gamer, Amid Embracer’s rough year. today, VGC People familiar with the matter have reported that Free Radical Design is part of an evaluation at Studio Embrace and that the studio may close as a result. Playon, a division of Embracer run by Free Radical Design, is required by UK law to contact employees at least 30 days in advance of dismissal, the publication writes. That’s how Free Radical Design employees learned about the possible shutdown of that law.
VGC At least 15 Free Radical Design employees have said on LinkedIn and social media that they are looking for a new job in the past 24 hours. Game Informer Free Radical has reached out to Embracer for confirmation and further details surrounding Design’s potential closure and will update this story if more information is learned.
As noted by VGC, while the studio may close, it’s not guaranteed yet. It can be acquired by an interested third party on the team or exposed with a change of heart through an embracer.
Embracer-owned publisher Deep Silver, which published this year’s Dead Island 2, announced in 2021 that it had revamped the original Timesplitters developer Free Radical Design to create a new Timesplitters game. This new version of Free Radical Design features key members of the original team, founders Steve Ellis and David Doak, both of whom previously worked at Rare on games such as GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark.
The first iteration of the Free Radical design was purchased by Crytek in 2009 and later renamed Crytek UK. However, it was discontinued in 2014, with most of the crew moving to Dead Island 2 developer Deep Silver Dambuster Studios, which also developed Homefront: The Revolution.
DeepSilver owner Koch Media purchased the Timesplitters IP in 2018, in the process officially making Free Radical Design a DeepSilver studio, all now under the Embracer Group umbrella following Embracer’s purchase of Koch Media in 2018.
Free Radical Design is set to develop the fourth TimeSplitters game in the series, but its future as a studio is now unclear.
A potential Free Radical Design shutdown will unfortunately join the list of layoffs affecting studios this year. Yesterday, Ubisoft laid off more than 100 employees, and last week, nearly 100 employees were laid off at Destiny 2 developer Bungie.
In January, Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees amid its ongoing $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which was completed last month.
In August, Striking Distance Studios, the team behind last year’s The Callisto Protocol, laid off more than 30 employees, and the same month, Mass Effect and Dragon Age developer BioWare laid off 50 employees, including longtime studio veterans. The following month, in September, Immortals of Avium developer Ascendant Studios laid off about 45% of its staff.
Just last month, The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog laid off at least 25 employees, and so did Telltale Games, although the actual number of laid off employees has yet to be revealed. And in late October, Dreams developer Media Molecule laid off 20 employees.
hearts Game Informer Everyone affected by this layoff has staff and free radical design.
(Source: Video Games Chronicle)