TimeSplitters 4 in jeopardy as Haze dev buckles

Nottingham-based Free Radical Design, whose work includes the TimeSplitters series and the first-person PS3 exclusive shooter, Haze, has lost almost 80 percent of its workforce as the company went into administration over the Christmas period, confirms Cameron Gunn, of Resolve Partners.

The firm was placed into administration on December 18, 2008 when employees reportedly turned up at work to discover that the locks had been changed. The only thing left notifying them of what to do was  a note asking them to attend an emergency meeting at a nearby hotel.

Following talks over the Christmas period, This is Derbyshire, has today revealed that 145 staff have lost their jobs and now only 40 employees remain at the company. Their future is also uncertain unless a buyer comes in to rescue the developer.

Resolve Partners claim that a number of publishers have shown an interest in Free Radical Design.

"We are inviting all interested parties to come forward. Significant interest has already been shown and we are hoping to make further announcements by the middle of January."

It’s likely that if there is a buyout either Ubisoft, Codemasters or EA, who have all worked closely with Free Radical in the past, will be at the front of the queue. Our money’s on the latter coming forward to further tighten its grip on the industry.

For the time being we can safely assume that all of Free Radicals’ projects will be put on hold, and unless someone swoops in to buy the company, TimeSplitters 4 and a sequel/prequel to Haze may never see the light of day.