Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors has reportedly confirmed to employees that TimeSplitters studio Free Radical is facing closure next month, as part of a sweeping restructuring programme that has already resulted in more than 900 job cuts at the company.
Word that Free Radical – a studio resurrected in 2021 specifically to revive the beloved TimeSplitters franchise – was the latest developer to be impacted by parent company Embracer’s restructuring first surfaced earlier this month in a report by VGC.
The publication’s sources have now shared a company wide email from Wingefors confirming that Free Radical is currently engaged in a consultation process – as per UK employment law, employees must enter into a 30-day consultation process before redundancies can be made – that could result in the studio’s closure next month.
“As we move through the consultation process and face the potential closure of Free Radical Design on 11 December 2023,” Wingefors reportedly wrote in his email to employees, “I want to express my gratitude for your commitment and the remarkable work you’ve done and still keep doing… This is a challenging time for all of us but especially for you, and our focus is to support you as much as we can during this transition.”
While the possibility remains that the studio could be saved if Embracer receives an acquisition offer, it’s unclear how likely an occurrence that will be.
Embracer Group began its devastating restructuring programme in May, following the collapse of a massive $2bn deal. So far, the cuts have resulted in layoffs at the likes of Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, Pinball FX developer Zen Studios, Mythforce developer Beamdog. Embracer has also shut down Studio Onoma (formerly Square Enix Montréal) and Saints Row developer Volition, and is reportedly looking to sell Borderlands studio Gearbox.
Embracer confirmed yet another round of layoffs earlier today after sources at Galaxy on Fire and Chorus developer Fishlabs informed Eurogamer that 50 positions out of 95 at the studio had been cut by Embracer management.