The Embracer group logo
Image via Embracer Group

Studio developing new TimeSplitters game closes following Embracer Group shutdowns

Another one bites the dust.

Following speculations two weeks ago that Embracer was looking to close TimeSplitters studio Free Radical, the decision was officially confirmed on Dec. 12 by Embracer subsidiary publisher Plaion, which owned and operated the studio.

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“It’s with a heavy heart that we must announce yet another difficult decision. Today, we have to confirm the official closure of Free Radical Design and say goodbye to many remarkable, talented, and hard-working people,” said Plaion in their statement for VGC. This comes after months of restructuring at Embracer Group that resulted in several studios being closed down, as well as nearly 1,000 people losing their jobs in the last quarter of 2023 alone. Free Radical Design was revived by Embracer Group after going bankrupt to bring back the TimeSplitters franchise, but now the studio is no more.

A man holding a gun with a TimeSplitters logo.
TimeSplitters is a classic franchise stemming from the PS2 era of gaming. Image via Electronic Arts

In retrospect, Free Radical Design was founded in 1999 and garnered a positive reputation with its TimeSplitters franchise, with the last game released in 2004 before the studio went kaputt in 2008. The Embracer revival gave hope to nostalgic players looking forward to revisiting the classic series, but the implications of the studio’s shutdown are anyone’s guess. Whether TimeSplitters will continue development is uncertain, though I sincerely hope it does.

Embracer Group closed down several studios including the Saints Row developer Volition, and has put big-time publisher Gearbox Software up for sale. The uncertainty remains for hundreds of developers that continue to operate under the Embracer brand, with no-one able to predict which studio will be axed next. Embracer Group is one of the worst offenders in the layoffs trend hitting the gaming and tech industries for the past year and a half. GamesIndustry.biz reports that over 6,000 jobs in gaming have been cut in 2023 alone, which is a major concern for developers.


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Author
Andrej Barovic
Strategic Content Writer, English Major. Been in writing for 3 years. Focused mostly on the world of gaming as a whole, with particular interest in RPGs, MOBAs, FPS, and Grand Strategies. Favorite titles include Counter-Strike, The Witcher 3, Bloodborne, Sekrio, and Kenshi. Cormac McCarthy apologetic.