Embracer CEO Confirms Free Radical Is Facing Closure
It has only been two years since Free Radical resurfaced after being shuttered by Crytek in 2014, and there were dreams that it would bring about a return of TimeSplitters, the legendary FPS that hasn’t been seen since 2005’s ‘Future Perfect’.
Sadly, rumours began circulating a few weeks ago, suggesting that the studio was at risk of being targeted by mass layoffs that could lead to the studio closing up shop once again – potentially for good this time. Now, the CEO of Embracer Group, Free Radical’s ultimate parent company, has confirmed that the studio could be closed as early as next month.
Here We Go Again
Lars Wingefors, the CEO of Embracer Group, reportedly sent a company-wide email confirming that staff at Free Radical were being signed into a consultation process, which is how redundancies are handled in the United Kingdom. During this period, there’s a 30-day window in which staff remain ‘on the books’ as they’re processed according to the law.
This news comes following countless waves of layoffs at Embracer-owned studios throughout the year. We’ve seen some studios shut down completely in the last few months as Embracer Group restructured to recoup losses accrued following the implosion of a $2 billion deal that fell through back in May 2023.
As we move through the consultation process and face the potential closure of Free Radical Design on 11 December 2023. I want to express my gratitude for your commitment and the remarkable work you’ve done and still keep doing… This is a challenging time for all of us but especially for you, and our focus is to support you as much as we can during this transition.
Lars Wingefors, CEO Embracer Group
It’s a tragedy, as many old-school gamers were rubbing their hands together at the thought of the return of TimeSplitters, which had been more or less written off way back in 2005. It was believed to be forever lost until Free Radical resurfaced in 2021.
There’s still a chance that some other firm could buy out Free Radical, of course – or that someone could acquire the license to TimeSplitters and bring it back into the light, but that’s unlikely.