Ex-Free Radical devs talk TimeSplitters 4
- Posted November 27th, 2012 at 05:49 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 4 Comments
Former Free Radical developers Steve Ellis and Karl Hilton have offered further insight as to why publishers were so apprehensive about backing TimeSplitters 4 before the studio went under.
Chatting to GamesTM (via NintendoEverything), TimeSplitters co-creator Ellis said that companies didn’t show sufficient interest in a demo of the fourth game in the time-hopping shooter franchise, which was churned out after Haze came out.
“TimeSplitters 4 was in the very early stages of development when Free Radical went into administration. A small playable demo was shown to several publishers, but it didn’t attract any publishing deals," said Ellis.
Elsewhere, Hilton, who now serves as marketing director at Crytek UK, added that Haze’s critical mauling didn’t help matters either, as publishers became unsure of Free Radical’s ability to deliver the goods.
“We pitched it to a lot of publishers,” he added. “And from each of them we got the same two responses. Firstly, they would ask what happened with Haze. We were the company that made a series of high-rated shooters and then we had released Haze, which wasn’t as well received. This worried them.”
“Secondly, their marketing person would say something alone the lines of, ‘I don’t know how to sell this.’ The unanimous opinion among all publishers that we pitched TimeSplitters 4 to is that you can’t market a game that is based around a diverse set of characters and environments – you need a clear and easily communicated marketing message, and TimeSplitters doesn’t have one.”
“Perhaps they are all right. Perhaps this is why the previous games in the series achieved much more critical success than commercial success. For these reasons, one by one they all declined to sign the project.”
TimeSplitters was a launch title for PlayStation 2, and went on to spawn two successful sequels: TimeSplitters 2 (2002) and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect (2005). The fourth game was confirmed as in development in 2007, though we all know how that turned out.
Stay tuned to PSU.com for more details.
- 7:41am EST - November 27th, 2012
It's publishers using this kind of thinking that has me seriously wondering if I'll even bother buying into the next gen at all. Over the last couple of years nearly all of my favourite games series have been destroyed by trying to capture as much of the market as possible. Seriously I can't think of many recent games that we'll be getting nostalgic over in years to come.
Gameoholic007 | Demented007
- 9:18am EST - November 27th, 2012
I wish another publisher would grow some balls and pick up this series, and stop with the drama BS. There are a load of people, including myself, that would love to get their grips on a TimeSplitters for these current gen consoles. =)
- 3:46am EST - November 30th, 2012
So the next console generation will consist of the usual Call of Duty, Nintendo Remakes and Sport games such as NFL and FIFA. Sounds promising...
Timesplitters was the first FPS I have ever played and the most fun game as well. Virus with friends was a blast, playing against bots was fun as well. So many options, challenges and unlockables it had hours and hours of replay value.
- 2:04am EST - January 2nd, 2013
Timesplitters is one of the only console games worth nostalgia of the last 15 years. What happened to the production of amazing games for the love of game play-- not this marketing crap? I'm sure the publishers will make plenty of money on new Timesplitter developments. With a few improvements on the classic Timesplitters
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