Footage of Cancelled TimeSplitters Game
Gaming News TimeSplitters

Footage of Cancelled TimeSplitters Game Shared by Free Radical's Art Director

Nathan Lees
Nathan Lees

An anticipated addition to the TimeSplitters series may have met an untimely end with the closure of Free Radical, the associated gaming studio. The company's Head of Art, Rob Steptoe, has given fans a unique insight into what might have been, releasing five minutes of in-game footage after the company's handling of the developmental project.

Free Radical's unsurprising shutdown came a mere two years after its reformation, as a result of major cutbacks at parent company, Embracer Group. The TimeSplitters franchise's newest game was among the casualties, fourteen years after the release of its latest instalment, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect.

Although nothing of the game was publicly presented prior to the cancellation, Rob Steptoe gave fans a sneak peek at the probable gameplay style. This presentation, entitled TimeSplitters Next, highlighted a familiar third-person, over-the-shoulder style of play akin to the popular game, Fortnite.

Towards the end of 2021, the fans received confirmation from Embracer-owned Plaion of the closure of Free Radical. They expressed their regret as they bid adieu to many remarkable talents that had contributed significantly to the company's operations over the years.

The studio's shut down sparked strong emotions among its employees. A QA designer portrayed the frustration and disappointment towards the industry's fragile state, which treats studios like replaceable entities in a soulless machine prioritising share prices.

The Free Radical brand originated in 1999, releasing prominent games such as the TimeSplitter series and Second Sight. After dealing with commercial underperformance of the game Haze and the cancelled Star Wars: Battlefront project, the studio once met financial instability in 2008.

Less than a year prior to its closure, Embracer and Plaion had announced the reformation of Free Radical by its original founders. Steve Ellis and David Doak displayed their intent to revitalise the TimeSplitters franchise. However, their ambitious vision may not see the light of the day, given the recent turn of events.


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