TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design officially shuts down

The Free Radical Design website has been wiped, and several employees have taken to LinkedIn to share their final thoughts.
timesplitters game studio closure

TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design has officially shuttered for a second time, as part of Embracer Group cost-cutting measures. The studio became the subject of rumours in early November 2023, as several sources told VGC that closure was imminent, and the future of the studio looked dire. While there was brief hope for a buyout or another means of saving the studio, this doesn’t appear to have eventuated, as Free Radical’s staff have begun to share tales of Free Radical’s final day in operation.

With the studio’s website now reading “404 Company Not Found 🙁” and many developers mourning the loss of their jobs on social media, it does appear time has run out for this iteration of Free Radical Design, which was re-established in 2021 for the purpose of revisiting the TimeSplitters franchise.

Until its closure, the studio was reportedly working on a franchise sequel – although, given its reported shut down and Embracer Group’s recent hints, we can assume the new version of TimeSplitters is one of several games recently cancelled by Embracer.

Read: Embracer Group has laid off 900 staff since June 2023 – and it’s not over yet

“As the sun sets on my last day at Free Radical Design, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to collaborate both with industry legends and with emerging talents who will no doubt shape the future of the industry,” Kevin Ellis, Free Radical QA manager wrote of his final day at the studio, via LinkedIn.

“Free Radical Design was a hub of creativity, but sadly, we join an ever-growing list of casualties in a broken industry where entire studios are treated as replaceable cogs in a soulless machine fixated on nothing but share prices.”

On Twitter / X, Adam Kiraly, senior technical artist, posted an image of the doors of Free Radical with the caption, “The last day at FRD was very different from what I imagined. I don’t think it sunk in properly yet, but handed my keys in and left the building the last time. It’s Time to Split.”

One developer estimated that around 80 people are now out of work – at possibly the least convenient time, right before the holidays, and in a period where thousands of global game developers are now looking for work.

Our thoughts are with those impacted by the reported closure of Free Radical Design.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.