Embracer Group is going through one of its most critical moments in its history, as it has experienced a wave of layoffs and emergency restructuring due to a failed investment. Unfortunately, one of the affected studios would be the one responsible for the return of TimeSplitters, and its tragic fate has just been confirmed.
In 2021, Embracer Group gave a pleasant surprise by announcing that Free Radical Design would return to revive the TimeSplitters franchise with a new project. The studio would operate as a subsidiary of Deep Silver and would include creatives who originated the franchise and the original studio, such as Steve Ellis and David Doak.
Everything seemed to be going well with the project until in 2023, due to a failed investment, the future of Free Radical Design was put at risk, and today, just 2 years after its establishment, its closure is almost confirmed.
Will Free Radical Design close its doors?
We know this thanks to Lars Wingefors, CEO of Embracer Group. While the company has not publicly addressed this issue, the executive sent an internal email to employees informing them of the situation and acknowledging that Free Radical Design would cease operations a few days before Christmas on December 11, 2023.
"As we go through the consultation process and face the potential closure of Free Radical Design on December 11, 2023, I would like to express my gratitude for your commitment and the remarkable work you have done and continue to do," Wingefors said in the private message (via Video Games Chronicle). "These are tough times for all of us, but especially for you, and our focus is to support you as much as we can during this transition."
According to the report, there is hope that the European studio will continue operating if another company is interested in it, but everything points to the opposite. Moreover, most of its nearly 100 employees are already looking for other jobs, perhaps convinced of the inevitable closure.
It is unknown whether the closure of Free Radical Design will derail any plans to work on a new TimeSplitters game, as we should not rule out the possibility that the franchise will be picked up by a different studio. Since the announcement of the new project, no progress has been revealed, so the progress it had made is unknown.
We will keep you informed.
Do you hold out hope that TimeSplitters will return someday? Tell us in the comments.
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