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Free Radical Design Closed?

GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that Free Radical Design has closed, saying they've heard this from "multiple sources," including a report that staff arrived at work to find the doors locked and a note telling them to attend a final company meeting at a nearby hotel. They recap their recent reassurances from Free Radical about the company's situation, but say that their calls over the past couple of days have gone unanswered. The developer was working on TimeSplitters 4 and an unannounced project for LucasArts, and the story also reflects rumors that the LucasArts project is Star Wars Battlefront III, and that development of the sequel to this Star Was action game has already been shifted to Rebellion, developers of Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron for the PSP.

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12. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 18:32 Wildone
 
theres virtually no jobs out there right now, its gonna be a shitty xmas for those guys....  
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11. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 17:14 Caveman
 
RIP Timesplitters.  
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10. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 16:34 elefunk
 
Thanks for agreeing, but I do definitely know how close to the truth it is. As a recent grad of computer engineering with lots of software and hardware development, as well as a current job as a software developer, I've been following the PS3 imparticularly closely, and ever prediction I've had about its success has come true.

If Sony had simply used more standardized hardware like Microsoft did, but "a year newer" since it came out a year later, we would have had Killzone 2-looking games a long time ago, and both multiplatform and exclusive PS3 games would be coming out faster, higher-quality, while probably looking better too.

The Cell is a complete disaster in every way, totally the opposite of what developers want, and compared with other solutions available at the time of the PS3's release, completely outdated and irrelevant to boot.
 
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9. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 16:16  dsmart 
 
@ LMN8R

You have NO idea just how close to the truth that is.

Sony completely and totally screwed up PS3 development for no apparent reason other than sheer incompetence on the part of those tasked with designing the HW and SW. Shame really because it really is crazy cool HW.

But guess what? With all the layoffs at Sony, my guess is that those same people will still keep their jobs - and get bonuses as well.

I hope the guys losing their jobs this season can find work.
 
Avatar 9141
 
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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8. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 14:23 elefunk
 
Unfortunately, this is what happens when you decide to develop an exclusive for an arcane, poorly-designed system that forces you to spend your entire budget redesigning graphics engines from the ground-up instead of focusing on gameplay and overall quality.

Factor 5 and Free Radical - both companies developed fantastic games when not hindered by esoteric hardware, and both companies release shitty games when exclusively developing for the PS3. Coincidence? Hardly. It's quite obvious that the only developers that can create quality PS3 games are those with absolutely massive development budgets and ridiculous amounts of support from Sony as well.
 
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7. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 13:01 CrimsonPaw
 
Yeah, I think they were betting the bank on Haze and it led to their demise. I'm sure TimeSplitters 4 will get picked up though, that series has a pretty grand following NOT to pursue it.  
~~Crim~~
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6. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 13:00 DG
 
damn thats cold, a hotel meeting? fuckers
I'm guessing a liquidator was appointed (perhaps by court petition from a creditor) who saw an extremely poor accounting situation and shut the whole thing down. All employees are automatically dismissed when the liquidator is appointed; though the article also says "with multiple sources claiming that staff, including senior executives, have already left the company".

It's cold and horrible but it's done to save any more of the creditor's (including employees) money being lost. Often they'll let the employees in and the liquidator will meet with them to explain the situation and their rights, but given the way employees in this industry work highly irregular hours that probably wasn't practical - that and the company might be in such a bad financial state that the liquidator wasn't going to accrue up time (fees) doing this. The hotel meeting will be the creditors meeting.

Employees wages have preferential creditor status here in the UK. Creditors with fixed securities get first dibs on the assets, the liquidator's fees are next, then employees and everyone else divvies up scraps (if any) left behind.

If Free Radical owns any IP, any interested dev should get in contact with the liquidator ASAP.

This comment was edited on Dec 18, 2008, 13:04.
 
Avatar 14793
 
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5. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 10:51 nin
 
damn thats cold, a hotel meeting?

"OK, you're all probably wondering why we called you here..."

(from the crowd) "FUCK YOU!"


 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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4. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 10:50 Hump
 

This.

TOTALLY.

SUCKS.

The TimeSplitters series was fucking AWESOME.

Unfortunately, Haze ended up negating any goodwill they had built up with the game community. Awful awful stuff....
 
Avatar 10137
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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3. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 10:30 Wildone
 
damn thats cold, a hotel meeting? fuckers  
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2. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 09:53 InBlack
 
Ok, so when is Lucasarts going to announce Tie Fighter 2 so I can throw some money their way?

This comment was edited on Dec 18, 2008, 09:53.
 
Avatar 46994
 
I have a nifty blue line!
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1. Re: Free Radical Design Closed? Dec 18, 2008, 09:46 nin
 

This.

TOTALLY.

SUCKS.

The TimeSplitters series was fucking AWESOME.


Goddamnit.


 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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