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Free Radical Hits Financial Skids

I think we can all agree that Haze was one of the most disappointing games of 2008, and in this ultra-competitive industry that now must deal with an ailing economy, you have to be firing on all cylinders. Free Radical was not, and therefore, it seems they may be no more.

First, GamesIndustry.biz reported that the staff had been laid off and the UK-based studio's doors were now locked. Then Edge Online noted that Free Radical's financial crisis was caused by a breakdown in a deal with LucasArts; the publisher was supposed to issue some contracts in some kind of exclusivity deal, but that deal must've disintegrated. It was also reported that Haze's failure made it difficult for Free Radical to find a publisher for TimeSplitters 4, which was announced way back in October 2007. We have no idea what will become of the fourth installment in the once-popular franchise, but thanks to This is Nottingham, GameSpot has confirmed that Free Radical is indeed in dire straits. Cameron Gunn of Resolve Partners, a bankruptcy-resolution firm, has said that the developers was "placed in to administration yesterday afternoon." They will now "assess the financial position of the company," and they've asked that all the employees (except for a small skeleton crew) stay home.

Well, at least the employees were paid up through the end of the year, and there's no knowing how many of the 185 Free Radical workers will end up without a job. We'll keep you updated, but for now, we suggest not holding your breath for TimeSplitters 4.

12/18/2008 John Shepard

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Comments (25 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 10:12:12 PM
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I actually feel bad for them, I mean... they tried.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 10:16:53 PM

I always feel bad when a game company goes under. No studio goes into business to disappoint gamers and go bankrupt. :(

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 12/18/2008 10:17:09 PM

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eLLeJuss
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 12:03:50 AM

to me, haze was ok. but they just hyped it too much that it didnt meet the peoples expectations :P

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QuasarSquirrel
Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 10:14:56 PM
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I haven't played it yet, but was Haze stanky enough to hinder the uptake of TimeSplitters?! I suppose publishing is expensive, but yikes, its not like a new IP like Haze.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 10:53:29 PM
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Guess I never played TimeSplitters, did I miss out on anything?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 10:57:16 PM

Yeah, they were great. TS2 and TS: Future Perfect were two of my favorite games last generation.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 11:03:41 PM

Coolio, I'll put it on my things to look into list.

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Jove
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 4:29:56 AM

the hell with timesplitters!! gimme haze 2!!!!!!! hahahahaha

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Qubex
Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 11:07:34 PM
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Ben, I played the Haze demo a few times, honestly, even though a lot of people didn't like it, was it really really that bad?

I kinda got into it after a few play throughs... the environments were not so badly crafted now, where they?... I did feel the motion/running of the characters felt a bit off... it was mediocre, but was it that bad that it should fail so badly?

I also feel that TimeShift was overlooked... again, the demo seemed rather good... and I think the 3D engine and effects were good from what I remember... I should have rather purchased TimeShift than Ferrari Challenge, which I feel could have been better...

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

Last edited by Qubex on 12/18/2008 11:08:45 PM

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coverton341
Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 11:57:34 PM

Well the voice acting in Haze was the worst I have heard in a game in a while honestly. The game takes a drastic turn as soon as you really get used to it and it really just becomes a cookie cutter FPS with no real redeeming qualities

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 12:51:23 AM

I really didn't play it. Arnold did the review...and that pretty much stopped me from playing it. ;)

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Wage SLAVES
Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 11:34:55 PM
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Survival of the fittest. It is a brutal truth. They should've just held out an extra year or so on HAZE. It would have been a different story Im sure. It had potential.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 12:22:36 AM
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Just so everybody knows... FreeRadical was in charge of Star Wars: Battlefront 3. I don't know if that game has something to do with the shutdown but Battlefront is now being done by Rebellion, the guys that made the PSP version of Battlefront II.

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Loogs
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 10:09:55 AM

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Yeah, I pretty much facepalmed when I saw the news of Free Radical. I've been waiting (years it feels like) for Battlefront III since it was rumored to be Free Radical's "secret Star Wars project". Here's to hoping that Free Radical has most of the game done, and that Rebellion continues their track record of perfecting games already built I.e. revamped their original '95 Aliens vs. Predator concept from Jaguar to the amazing PC version in '99/'00 and also their excellent job with cleaning up the trash that was the '05 Battlefront II PSP port and reworking that into the awesome PSP game Battlefront: Renegade Squadron in '07. That combined with the experience of already working on a Battlefront game?! THERE IS HOPE YET!!! USE THE FORCE, REBELLION!!!

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Fabi
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 12:41:02 AM
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I played the Haze demo, and I didn't think it was that bad. I've played worse games that did better. I'm considering buying it used for like $13.

They should just release Timsplitters Future Perfect in HD and call it a day for the studio, if it goes down. I hope it doesn't.

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jlch777
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 12:44:52 AM
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I feel sorry for them. Haze is an ok game but not that bad.
They deserve another chance!

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s360s
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 12:55:21 AM
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Well I have no reason to keep living. BANG !!!

Last edited by s360s on 12/19/2008 12:55:49 AM

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AntDC
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 5:48:14 AM
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So this means no more Timesplitter games?
Possibly the best multi-player split-screen FPS that video-gaming has to offer?

I think a part of me just died on the inside. This is really sad news. I hope Free Radical can somehow get back on its feet, though this article makes this look unlikely.

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Qubex
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 6:27:56 AM
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I may get Haze at the bargain bin, or from Cash Converters or something! Piece of history... sad history!

BTW, will online work or not?

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

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N a S a H
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 6:36:49 AM

Yeah online will work, me and my friend were just playing on it last week. It's honestly a good game.

I can't believe there's gonna be no more Timesplitters :(

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tlpn99
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 10:48:14 AM
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Haze was rubbish, pity it looked good to start off with I played a demo and decided against it.

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shaydey77
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 11:45:18 AM
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i got the MGS/Haze bundle. I played Haze for about a week. The only problem I had with this game was that everything just felt wrong. It played wrong..voice over wrong..even learning what the hell you were doing was all drastically wrong. Even the characters were wrong. why they didnt realease a few believable characters is beyond me. Shame about tiemsplitters though.

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shaydey77
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 11:45:19 AM
Reply

double post. I apologise.

Last edited by shaydey77 on 12/19/2008 11:45:51 AM

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Bugzbunny109
Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 9:04:43 PM
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haze sucked, the online was good though. I traded it in today to get COD5 and fight night round 3

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BikerSaint
Saturday, December 20, 2008 @ 9:33:02 PM
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Damn, no more Free Radicals?

If you promise to stay, I'll even throw all my antioxidants away!!!!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/20/2008 9:35:17 PM

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