Crytek UK Seeking Publisher For New TimeSplitters
Just a quick history lesson: Free Radical made the TimeSplitters games, which earned widespread critical acclaim and generated legions of avid followers. But the developer also made Haze, which meant they basically went bye-bye, and Crytek saved them. After doing so, the new studio became known as Crytek UK. The latter will deliver Crysis 2 at some point and we're finally hearing talk about a new TimeSplitters.
It had been rumored - or perhaps even confirmed - that Free Radical had been working on the fourth TS installment when they were forced to close their doors. When they became part of Crytek, they were obliged to work on Crysis 2 but now that that project is nearly done, it seems they're looking for publishers willing to put out a new TimeSplitters. During the GameCity festival at Nottingham last week, Crytek managing director Karl Hilton said:
"We're talking to publishers at the moment about whether that's [TimeSplitters] a viable route or not. There hasn't been a TimeSplitters game for quite a while. Obviously TimeSplitters is a FPS with a strong multiplayer element. The question is, is that the way to go with another one, or should it go down a different route, or should we be developing a new IP altogether?"
He says if they find a publisher who wants to adopt the project, Crytek would be "happy to do one." But it's still very much up in the air right now, as they're willing to be flexible; i.e., "whether the TS is like the classic TS or whether the TS is a new imagined TS," will be part of the publisher hunting process. So how are publishers responding thus far? Well, everyone knows the name "TimeSplitters" and Hilton says depending on who you talk to, "they either look at it as a really successful product or as a product that was almost successful but could have done better."
He did add that if they do happen to make another TS, the style might have to change. He said it was "very British" with its sense of humor and these days, that's "too niche" and it doesn't work. So they would need to create a new "characteristic and personality." Lastly, Hilton added:
"TS had a very high profile within the industry, among press and game developers and publishers. That's great. And certainly within our team there's phenomenal enthusiasm for it and we'd love to do another one. But everyone realises it's a hard commercial climate out there, so you've got to do something that's commercial but still has integrity. That's the balance you're going to have to find.
But yeah, we'd love to do it. We don't want to get self-indulgent with it. We want to produce something that speaks to a lot of people and a lot of people play. That's the best thing: when you make a game and it sells a lot of units, not from a financial view, but because it's great to see your product out there that people are enjoying it and playing it."
11/1/2010 10:32:30 AM Ben Dutka