How does a studio that makes an instant cult classic fizzle out and die? Relegated to the archives of old, destined for discussion among an older generation of gamers, wistfully lamenting the greats of the ages. Stories such as this are far from uncommon in the gaming industry. Such was the case with Free Radical Design, the legendary Studio behind fabled series TimeSplitters. Until now.
The original TimeSplitters game was released way back in October 2000. It debuted on the PlayStation 2, published by Electronic Arts and received the very highest praise from fans and critics alike. The FPS style was likened to that of Rare’s Goldeneye, and later Perfect Dark. Not surprising, as the cerebral force majeure behind the series came from four ex-Rare employees; Doak, Ellis, Karl Kilton and Graeme Norgate.
TimeSplitters 4 was but a distant dream…until now
Free Radical continued their successful run with a sequal, TimeSplitters 2 in 2002, and later TimeSplitters: Future Project in 2005. But sustained success of the studio was not to be. Following a less than impressive reception to new IP Haze, released in 2007, and a cancelled Star Wars project, the studio declared bankruptcy in 2008. Further TimeSplitters releases, including the 4th instalment revealed as in development, were not to be. But, much like Fable’s sordid demise, a game so loved seems detined for resurrection…
From the Ashes
Fast forward 13 long years and it seems that we may finally, finally be getting a follow up to the beloved series. The original founders of Free Radical Design have now reformed the cult studio. Publishers Deep Silver announced today that “key original members” of Free Radical were back, and with them the TimeSplitters IP would see the light of day again.
“To finally be able to confirm that the studio has been formed and that we have a plan for the next TimeSplitters game is incredible,” said Ellis. who will act as the new development director. “While we cannot tell you anything more at the moment, we look forward to sharing information in the future.”
Unfortunately it seems unlikely that we will have any further details on the new game for a while. We don’t expect to see any solid development on a new TimeSplitters game for a few months at least. This early in its own Lazarus resurrection, the studio will need time to find its rhythm again. But whatever the wait one fact stands out as irrefutable. A new TimeSplitters is finally on its way.