The future looks bleak for TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design, as its owner Embracer reportedly hints at its impending closure. The UK-based studio is currently undergoing a wave of restructuring efforts, following layoffs and the closure of other renowned gaming studios within the Embracer conglomerate. While Embracer has remained silent on the matter officially, Lars Jannsen, the VP of Embracer arm Plaion, allegedly disclosed in a private communication that Free Radical Design could cease operations on December 11th, just two weeks before Christmas. These distressing news have left the studio’s staff in disarray as they scramble to secure new employment opportunities.

Free Radical Design is navigating treacherous waters, facing the possibility of closure while still in the midst of a 30-day consultation process. This process, mandated by UK employment law, aims to determine whether or not layoffs will occur. However, the outlook appears grim, as over half of the studio’s 100 employees, listed on LinkedIn, have already announced their search for new job opportunities. The countdown to December 11th seems like an ominous specter hanging over the heads of the studio’s employees, who have shown tremendous dedication and talent, even during these challenging times.

There might be a glimmer of hope for Free Radical Design, as a potential lifeline exists in the form of a timely purchase before the fateful date of December 11th. However, the odds are stacked against the studio. Free Radical Design, resurrected from the ashes of its predecessor, faced bankruptcy in 2008 after the commercial failure of PlayStation 3 game Haze. Despite being revived by its original founders less than three years ago, the studio now joins the growing list of victims of Embracer’s ruthless restructuring and layoffs.

Embracer’s widespread restructuring efforts have left a trail of destruction, with Free Radical Design as the latest casualty. The conglomerate’s recent actions have inflicted significant damage on the gaming industry, resulting in numerous job losses and studio closures. Just yesterday, Fishlabs, the developers behind Chorus and Galaxy on Fire, announced that over half of their team had been laid off. Embracer’s actions have already led to the loss of more than 900 employees across its owned studios, with the number potentially exceeding 1,000. Despite the devastation caused, Embracer has stated that its restructuring is only in its early stages, hinting at the likelihood of further cancellations and closures in the future.

Barring an unforeseen miracle, Free Radical Design is on a collision course with closure. The studio’s prospects seem increasingly grim as the clock ticks towards December 11th. The talented team at Free Radical Design, who have already endured adversity before, may soon face an unfortunate end to their journey. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it is vital to recognize the immense talent and dedication of studios like Free Radical Design, even in the face of uncertain futures. The impending closure of Free Radical Design serves as a sobering reminder of the fragility of creative enterprises within the gaming industry.


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