Monday, 22 December 2008

Timesplitters team splitting after all this time?

First of all, I apologise for the title of this blog. I really do. Whilst it is a fairly accurate in the message it is portraying, it is a fairly awful play on words that I am not entirely proud of.

Anyway, this post comes with the story that Free Radical Design is on the verge of slipping away in to the dark corner of non-existence.

The story goes that the highly respected games developer has been running on fumes for months now after a series of unfortunate events. This includes that much hyped, but unfortunately less than stellar title Haze and the deal with Lucas Arts (rumoured to be Star Wars Battlefront III) falling through.

The first official thing that any employees heard of the matter was when they turned up to work last week to find the doors locked and a note on the door telling them to turn up for a meeting in a hotel down the road.

It was here that an emotional Steve Ellis (co-founder of Free Radical) told everyone that the company was in trouble. This does seem a bit like breaking the bad news to someone who is already dead, but many employees have had suspicions that something was not quite right in the camp for months.

However, there is some hope on the horizon for the company. ReSolve, the appointed administrator of Free Radical has said that there is significant interest in the company being bought.

Free Radical is of course most well known for the fantastic and non-sensical Timesplitters series, famous for disproportioned cartoon characters and monkeys shooting seven shades of sticky red stuff out of each other.

Hopefully, if the company is saved from the brink, the fourth instalment of this hugely played series will be released. The obvious, yearned for feature with the next game would be large scale online play, and could certainly take the crown for best multiplayer shooter, if the previous games multiplayer is anything to go by.

Hopefully some of the guys that worked on Goldeneye (the Nintendo 64 shooter) who were part of the original Free Radical team will either be still there, or have passed on their new tricks.

All that we can do is sit back, hope and pray extra hard to the Gods of Gaming to see that Free Radical Design comes back from the edge with extra monkeys, guns and virtual moustaches.

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