‘TimeSplitters’ co-creator is “done” with the franchise after cancelled project


TimeSplitters co-creator and Free Radical Design boss Steve Ellis has said he’s likely “done” with the franchise after Embracer closed down the studio.

In 2021 two of the original founders of Free Radical Design, including Ellis, relaunched the studio to work on a fourth TimeSplitters title under Embracer’s Deep Silver. However at the end of last year, the studio was closed down as part of a company-wide restructuring program by Embracer and everyone working on the new TimeSplitters project was let go.

In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz  [via VGC], Ellis said: “It’s probably the end of me being involved with TimeSplitters. I don’t know if Embracer will do anything with it. I don’t know what it would take to get me to want to go through all that again. It was a big letdown.”

He went on to say he’s “lost count” of how many times he’s been approached about a TimeSplitters remaster in the past two decades. “It’s definitely double digits,” he added.

However the project he’d spent years working on for Embracer was something new entirely. “That’s the difficult thing when you’re trying to bring something back like TimeSplitters. It was good in its day, but its day was 20 years ago. The genre and the industry have moved on. We spent a lot of time trying to work out how to please everyone.”

He went on to say that he was “quite hopeful” that the new TimeSplitters game would have “satisfied everyone” and was very different to the leaked gameplay footage that emerged online earlier this year. 

“I would never release footage of a half-finished game because you’re going to get people jumping to the wrong conclusion about what it is,” he said. “Obviously it would be pointless to just clone Fortnite, so that’s not what we were doing.”

Ellis went on to say that he was taking a break from creating video games. “I did have an idea that I would do something that wasn’t games,” he said. “But… I always end up gravitating back. It’s what I’ve done for nearly 30 years.”

In other news, the first person to receive a Neuralink brain implant has revealed that one of the first things they did was stay up all night playing Civilization 6.



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