Embracer could be shutting down TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design in December, CEO reportedly confirms

Cover art from TimeSplitters 2.
(Image credit: Eidos Interactive)

Three weeks after it was reported by VGC that Free Radical Design was allegedly being threatened with closure, Embracer Group’s CEO, Lars Wingefors, has reportedly acknowledged this threat within a company email (shared with VGC by anonymous sources). 

Free Radical Design is a British game development studio, arguably best known for developing the iconic first-person shooter TimeSplitters series. The studio is owned by Deep Silver, which is a division of Embracer-owned company Plaion.

According to VGC’s latest report, in the supposed email, Wingefors thanked staff for their hard work and commitment that’s been shown throughout the company’s consultation process, and noted that Free Radical Design faces potential closure on December 11. He also allegedly called it “a challenging time for all of us but especially for you.” However, the studio’s potential shutdown still hasn’t been publicly announced.

This year, numerous studios owned by Embracer Group have been impacted by the company’s ongoing restructuring program, which as of the end of September, had resulted in 904 job losses. At the time, that amounted to around five percent of the workforce, but a November financial report confirmed that the restructuring “is expected to continue through to the end of the current fiscal year.” Embracer Group’s interim chief strategy officer, Phil Rogers, recently spoke about the layoffs, and said they’re “how we win,” despite the "agonizing" human impact.

If Free Radical Design is shut down, it won’t be the only Embracer-owned studio to meet that fate this year. In August, Saints Row studio Volition Games announced its immediate closure, confirming that the “difficult decision” had been made after Embracer had “evaluated strategic and operational goals.”

Furthermore, in the last 24 hours, it was revealed that Galaxy on Fire studio Fishlabs is expected to see around 50 job losses. The vice president of worldwide studios and talent at Plaion, Lars Janssen, said the “painful decision is a reflection of the broader challenges in the gaming industry.”

Trying to keep up with future video game releases? Take a look at our roundup of upcoming games to check what titles have already been announced. You can also find some fantastic recommendations for games to play now on our best PC games list.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.