Free Radical gains a reprieve through Crytek buyout deal.
Late last year, it looked like UK developer Free Radical would be going under. It shed 140 of its staff and the in-development Star Wars: Battlefront III title for LucasArts was handed over to Rebellion Studios. Administrators were brought in and appeared confident that they would find someone to purchase the remains.
Today was the day that an official announcement about the fate of the company was due. While official word is yet to come through, there is a story over at 1UP claiming that a buyer has been found. According to Free Radical scriptwriter Rob Yescombe, the company has been purchased by Crytek.
There is still no official word from the German game developer as to whether this is true, however, it makes a lot of sense. After all, Free Radical is one of the more respected developers of console first-person shooters, thanks to its much-loved TimeSplitters series. Crytek has been a darling of the PC first-person shooter community for some years, now, thanks to Crysis and FarCry. Crytek has also been one of the more prominent developers to lay the blame for poor sales on piracy and has indicated that it will move its focus to consoles in future.
Of course, neither company has had massive success in recent times. Free Radical’s Haze was widely panned for being a generally uninspiring experience, while Crysis didn’t quite live up to the years of hype behind it.
Free Radical now comprises of a mere 40 people who are most likely working on the previously announced TimeSplitters 4. With its purchase, Crytek would also get access to the TimeSplitters and Haze IP, which could well make for the birth of a new console shooter powerhouse.