Former Free Radical Designs devs share TimeSplitters concept art and more

Art work reportedly taken from Free Radical Design’s unreleased TimeSplitters game has popped up online.

As developers made redundant by the studio begin to update their online portfolios, fans are getting an inside peek at the untitled game, including concept art, character models, texture packs, weapon designs, gadgets, and more.

Let’s Play TimeSplitters 2 – Late To The Party.

The images – curated by The Vault: Free Radical Archive, a wiki that “strives to create a complete archive of information on Free Radical Design’s next-generation cancelled titles” – are bittersweet for many, particularly as the fate of the highly-anticipated sequel is not clear.

Following this week’s rumours that Free Radical Design – the studio set up in 2021 specifically to work on a new TimeSplitters game – had been closed, studio owner Plaion (a subsidiary of the beleaguered Embracer Group) finally made the news official.

Free Radical was founded in 1999 by a number of ex-Rare developers and quickly made a name for itself with the much-loved TimeSplitters FPS series. In 2009, after several difficult years, it was acquired by Crytek, becoming Crytek UK, who then sold it to Deep Silver in 2014, where it became Dambuster Studios – which made this year’s Dead Island 2. However, in May 2021, Deep Silver announced it was reviving the Free Radical name and creating a new studio specifically to make more TimeSplitters, with original Free Radical co-founders Steve Ellis and David Doak at the helm.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we must announce yet another difficult decision,” Plaion wrote in a statement. “Today, we have to confirm the official closure of Free Radical Design, and say goodbye to many remarkable, talented and hard-working people.

“We are beyond grateful for their incredible contributions to Plaion and wish them the best of luck and success on their professional journey from here on out.”

As Tom summarised for us at the time, Free Radical is the latest studio to be impacted by Embracer Group’s devastating restructuring, which it initiated following the collapse of a $2bn deal earlier this year. So far, over 900 employees have lost their jobs across Embracer’s various studios and subsidiaries, with layoffs confirmed at Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, Insurgency studio New World Interactive, Pinball FX developer Zen Studios, Mythforce developer Beamdog, and more.

Embracer has also shut down Studio Onoma (formerly Square Enix Montréal) and Saints Row developer Volition, and is reportedly looking to sell Borderlands studio Gearbox.

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