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Free Radical Design gone bust :(

Discussion in 'Other Games' started by pboreham, 19 December 2008.

  1. pboreham

    pboreham Kick. Snare. Hat. Ride.

    5 August 2002
    C*lchester
    Southend Utd
    Makers of Time Splitters (and Haze) have gone into administration :(

    A studio that I have always followed after having an interview their some years ago.

    Shame - but think we might hear of many more of these stories in the coming months. Makes you wonder about the quality of games (or lack of) we are going to get in the next 12-24 months.

    Perhaps only massive studios like EA will survive, which IMO will be bad for gamers...
     
  2. DagsJT

    DagsJT Retired Footballer

    29 November 2005
    Warrington
    Liverpool
    Good programmers will always get jobs though. It could lead to a few good studios going bust, but on the other hand it might get rid of some of the crap studios that trawl out crap after crap on systems like the 360 and DS.
     
  3. Joystick

    Joystick Deep like Titanic

    10 August 2004
    London
    The Arse
    Harsh but true, survival of the fittest. Midway, THQ and Brash are all pretty much up the spout, but then they've been pushing rubbish for too long anyway. The big, quality games will still sell, as they have done this Christmas already:

    http://www.mcvuk.com/news/32749/UK-software-market-to-hit-19bn-in-08

    In the case of Free Rad, I guess they must have really suffered for Haze being a bit of a turkey. I wouldn't be surprised if the main designers aren't snapped up pretty sharpish, mind.
     
  4. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    Well i just read that EA got rid of 600 people.
    The financial crisis...
     
  5. Carl

    Carl Ban Master Staff

    27 December 2001
    N.I.
    West Ham United FC
    EA's share price has plummeted too since the start of the year, rumours about Disney looking to buy them persist too.
     
  6. gerd

    gerd Retired Footballer

    8 January 2002
    Over the moon
    KRC Genk, Spurs
    I think all of this is not abnormal with the worldwide financial crisis...
     
  7. Carl

    Carl Ban Master Staff

    27 December 2001
    N.I.
    West Ham United FC
    I know that is true Gerd, but not so long ago, EA was the biggest Software publisher in the world, their share price was about 60 dollars a share and they were bidding a hostile takeover of Take2, now it's trading around 18 dollars.

    As for Free Radical, while I was a fan of the TimeSplitters Series, they released the original in 2000, 2 in 2002 (Second Sight in 2004) and Future Perfect in 2005 in fact published by EA, and then came Haze, 2008, after countless delays and with another big publisher Ubisoft behind them, I think it was a case of the sum of their parts not adding up to a very high output. Losing the Lucasarts deal basically done them in, no one wanted to touch their projects with a barge pole.
     
  8. Nick Cave

    Nick Cave Wrexham fan for my sins...

    10 July 2004
    Non football league waste land...
    Wrexham AFC
    Haze was pants, I like time Splitters though...
     
  9. gomito#10

    gomito#10 World Cup Winner

    9 May 2003
    DC, USA
    EA will be fine, i honestly think alot of companies are using the "crisis" as an excuse to lay off workers... EA sales are thru the roof during the "crisis" yet there laying off workers, there stock price has nothing to do with reality and more to do with panicky investors..
     
  10. DagsJT

    DagsJT Retired Footballer

    29 November 2005
    Warrington
    Liverpool
    A few months before Free Radical Design cratered, founder Steve Ellis set up a new studio and parked the domain for "Pumpkin Beach." Well, he and 20 former FRD coders now have jobs there.

    Smashpad had a source inside the now-closed studio, noted for its TimeSplitters and Haze IPs, who said Pumpkin Beach was set up about four months ago in-house. "We were told that because the project was going to be quite different from Free Radical’s previous games," said Smashpad's source, "they were setting up a new company, sort of a new label for the game, to avoid the associations with TimeSplitters and Haze."

    Avoiding associations with the universally-panned Haze? Sound strategy. The source semi-disputed rumors that Lucasarts was most displeased and took away Battlefront III, giving it to Rebellion. But he or she didn't elaborate on them being "not entirely true."

    The story also links over to the Unofficial Free Radical Design Blog, which having no Free Radical Design to blog about, continues the story:

    Sources explain Dave Doak had left Free Radical Design a month ago. He and Steve Ellis are now looking at creating a new game developer company called Pumpkin Beach. Little is known about their plans for this company but a website, http://www.pumpkinbeach.com/, has been reserved. It is possible TimeSplitters 4 could be sold to this new company. Maybe this new company was created as a rescue for TimeSplitters 4 but the lack of publisher support makes the idea a risky one.

    During the meeting roughly 20 staff positions were offered into the new company for people at Free Radical Design. Codemasters and Monumental Games were also at the hotel used to hold the meeting to ask for CVs and applications for anyone who was interested.

    So, there's some reason to be optimistic amongst the fallout; the jettisoned Free Radical employees either have jobs, or decent prospects, and TimeSplitters 4 is at minimum rumor-worthy, which is good, because this swrrt concept art surely needs a home.
     
  11. Yana

    Yana R.I.P Fazzaday :(

    2 March 2008
    Sheffield
    Chelsea
    I really hope something does happen and they can make TimeSplitters 4, I loved 1 & 2 but didn't get to play 3. Credit crunch is messing all sorts of companies up now, bloody economy is rubbish.
     
  12. Radiation

    Radiation Golden Boot Winner

    6 February 2006
    Widnes
    Newcastle United
    Is 3 the one where it had a story and there was a boss battle on a train? That was alright, i liked the idea of playing the game and spoting yourself from the future lending you a hand and then later seeing your past self as you came back in time helping them out.

    The MP side though was good and had a good map editor and an assault mode but it didn't have me addicted like the first 2.
     
  13. Yana

    Yana R.I.P Fazzaday :(

    2 March 2008
    Sheffield
    Chelsea
    I don't know anything about 3, sorry. I can remember the cover for it, that's all. You can probably get it on emulator for PC though.
     
  14. Carl

    Carl Ban Master Staff

    27 December 2001
    N.I.
    West Ham United FC
    Announced a few weeks ago, bought by Crytek, original Far Cry and Crysis developers, now called Crytek UK
     
  15. jonneymendoza

    jonneymendoza Legend

    1 January 2004
    Arsenal
    quality!!
     
  16. Placebo

    Placebo Ԁlɐɔǝqo

    3 May 2003
    Esmoriz, Portugal
    Sheffield Wednesday
    Funcom could be next, lost $23 for the 4th quarter, Age of Conan subscriptions now <100k, just as well we moved here instead as we were a whisker away from moving to Norway with Nataska accepting a job there.
     

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