Free Radical Design closes doors
TimeSplitters, Haze developer lays off staff, Rebellion picks up Battlefront III project?
Independent UK studio Free Radical Design closed its doors this morning, GamesIndustry.biz understands, with multiple sources claiming that staff, including senior executives, have already left the company.
It is also believed that the unnamed project for LucasArts - announced back in 2006 and thought to be Star Wars Battlefront III - has been shipped off to Rebellion, the developer behind PSP hit Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron.
One source claims staff turned up to work today to find doors locked, and instructions to meet at a nearby hotel for a final company meeting.
Last month, when contacted by GamesIndustry.biz, director Steve Ellis denied there were any changes at the company.
"Nothing unusual is happening here. Projects end. New projects start. That's how things have worked for nearly 10 years," he said then.
TimeSplitters 4 and the unnamed project were both still in development said Ellis, as were "other unannounced projects, which are in the process of being signed."
And days later, when more industry chatter questioned the future of the Nottingham studio, Ellis said that "we certainly won't be laying off any staff today. Or, for that matter, any time in 2008."
"If something happens in 2009 I'm sure we'll be prepared to comment - but from where I'm sitting, whatever happens is far more likely to be positive than negative," he added.
Calls to senior staff at Free Radical Design by GamesIndustry.biz yesterday and today have not been returned.