TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design reportedly threatened with closure

TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
(Image credit: EA)

Free Radical Design, the British game development studio best known for its work on the TimeSplitters and Crysis series, is reportedly at threat of being shut down, according to VGC sources. This comes just two years after it was reformed under parent company Deep Silver.

The studio is a subsidiary of Deep Silver, a division of Plaion, which is in turn owned by Embracer Group. According to VGC’s report, employees have been notified that there’s a chance that the studio could be closed after it was evaluated as part of Embracer’s recent restructuring program. TRG has reached out to Plaion for comment but has not yet received a response.

Earlier this year, that same restructuring program saw the closure of Saints Row developer Volition. At the time, the studio explained in a LinkedIn post that the program was being rolled out with the aim of strengthening Embracer to help the company “maintain its position as a leader in the video game industry.” The post continued: “As part of that program, they evaluated strategic and operational goals and made the difficult decision to close Volition effective immediately.”

Furthermore, in September, Embracer-owned studio Crystal Dynamics (known for its work on the Gex series and several Tomb Raider games) announced that it had parted ways with 10 employees to “align the studio with our current business needs”. 

This week, it was also confirmed that Embracer Group’s now former chief operating officer, Egil Strunke, had left the organization to begin building his own games company. In a statement posted at the time, he admitted that “the last year has been rough, in line with general market changes and industry consolidation”, but noted that he's “positive” that Embracer will “come out stronger”. 

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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.