After 16 years, we're finally going to see a new TimeSplitters game. This morning, publisher Deep Silver announced they're reforming TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design, with "key original members" returning to work on a new entry in the time-travelling shooter series. There hasn't been a new TimeSplitters since Future Perfect in 2005, which, admittedly, is the only one I've played. I'd happily see more of it, though we'll likely be waiting a while before any newness appears.
"We have been working on plans to bring the TimeSplitters franchise back to life, and are pleased to let you know that we are setting up a new Deep Silver development studio to do just that," Deep Silver tweeted. "Free Radical Design is reforming and will be headed up by industry and TimeSplitters veterans, Steve Ellis and David Doak."
Development hasn't started though, so they don't have much else to say. Parent company Embracer Group say the new studio will be in Nottingham, UK (home of the original Free Radical).
"To finally be able to confirm that the studio has been formed and that we have a plan for the next TimeSplitters game is incredible," said Ellis. "While we cannot tell you anything more at the moment, we look forward to sharing information in the future."
I'm quite excited. The first TimeSplitters game came out in 2000, followed by two sequels, TimeSplitters 2 in 2002, and Future Perfect in 2005. They're classic FPSs full of daft references and jokes, but they're excellent fun.
Free Radical was first formed in 1999 by former Rare staff who'd worked on the likes of Golden Eye and Perfect Dark. After the three TimeSplitters games, a cancelled Star Wars project and the poorly-received PS3 game Haze, they unfortunately went bankrupt in 2008.
Crytek bought Free Radical a year later, and ran it as Crytek UK until 2014. The studio were making Homefront: The Revolution at the time, which continued at Deep Silver's new Dambuster Studios after they bought the series. Deep Silver later bought the TimeSplitters rights from Crytek too, in 2018. Crytek hadn't been doing anything with it, so it's nice to see TimeSplitters finally returning
TimeSplitters hasn't exactly been dead during all that time, however. A few years ago, fans started remaking the series with Crytek's permission. And one former Dambusters programmer hid a full playable version of TimeSplitters 2 inside Homefront: The Revolution in an arcade cabinet, complete with co-op.