210°

Embracer’s TimeSplitters studio Free Radical faces closure

VGC writes: "According to people close to Free Radical Design, the Nottingham, UK-based studio has been part of the evaluation and employees have now been notified that it could close."

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videogameschronicle.com
melons164d ago

Absolute shame on Embracer if they bring back a dead studio just to kill it off again before they have enough time to make their first new game.

Relientk77164d ago

Wow wtf... you get all of the TimeSplitters fans, including me, excited by bringing back Free Radical, and now you kill everyone's hopes and dreams just like that. I'm so disappointed.

Gardenia163d ago

TimeSplitters were special games. It would have been great now with online multiplayer to play these games PVP or co op.

Snookies12164d ago

This is terrible, if true... Why can't we live in a timeline where we have Timesplitters again? I'm not entirely sure if this is affecting the one being worked on outside of Free Radical. I just miss this series so much, I want something... Anything...

Crows90164d ago

I think that insomniac could do a good timesplitters...without all the progressive crap hopefully.

ZwVw164d ago

All of those comments about Embracer being a better fit for Acti-Blizz, as opposed to MS, have aged gracefully..

Joe913164d ago

I know this is a bit out there but Sony should buy them. They aquired a lot of studios that made a lot of good games, I personally was hoping for a Legacy of Kain sequel or a reboot but I doubt that happens now.

DarXyde164d ago

I don't know that they would be willing to make that purchase after Haze.

Even then, I'm very apprehensive about acquisitions. Just seems like a lot to take on for a studio that is not very prolific.

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300°

Starfield Highlights a Major Problem With the AAA Game Industry

Video games -- particularly AAA video games -- have become too expensive to make. The intel from every fly on the wall in every investor's room is there is an increasing level of caution about spending hundreds of millions just to release a single video game. And you can't blame them. Many AAA game budgets mean that you can print hundreds of millions in revenue, and not even turn a profit. If you are an investor, quite frankly, there are many easier ways to make a buck. AAA games have always been expensive to make though, but when did we go from expensive, to too expensive? A decade ago, AAA games were still expensive to make, but fears of "sustainability" didn't keep every CEO up at night. Consumer expectations and demands no doubt play a role in this, but more and more games are also revealing obvious signs of resource mismanagement, evident by development teams and budgets spiraling out of control with sometimes nothing substantial to show for it.

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comicbook.com
franwex1d ago

It’s a question that I’ve pondered myself too. How are these developers spending this much money? Also, like the article stated, I cannot tell where it’s even going. Perfect example was used with Starfield and Spiderman 2.

They claim they have to increase prices due to development costs exploding. Okay? Well, I’m finding myself spending less and less money on games than before due to the quality actually going down. With a few recent exceptions games are getting worse.

I thought these newer consoles and game engines are easier-therefore-cheaper to make games than previous ones. What has happened? Was it over hiring after the pandemic, like other tech companies?

MrBaskerville1d ago (Edited 1d ago )

Costs quite a bit to maintain a team of 700+ employees. Which is what it takes to create something with state of the art fidelity and scope. Just imagine how many 3D artists you'd need to create the plethora of 3D objects in a AAA game. There's so much stuff and each asset takes time and effort.

That's atleast one of the things that didn't get easier. Also coding all the systems and creating all the character models with animations and everything. Animations alone is a huge thing because games are expected to be so detailed.

Back in the day a God of War type game was a 12 hour adventure with small levels, now it has to be this 40+ hours of stuff. Obviously it didn't have to be this way of AAA publishers hadn't convinced themselves that it's an arms race. Games probably didn't need to be this bloated and they probably didn't need to be cutting edge in fidelity.

franwex1d ago (Edited 1d ago )

Starfield’s animation and character models look like they are from Oblivion, a game that came out about 20 years ago. I cannot tell the difference between Spider-Man 2 and the first one at first glance. It’s been a joke in some YouTube channels.

Seven hundred people for 1 game? Make 7 games with 100 people instead. I think recent games have proven that it’s okay to have AA games, such as Hell Divers 2.

I guess I’m a bit jaded with the industry and where things are headed. Solutions seem obvious and easy, but maybe they aren’t.

MrBaskerville23h ago(Edited 23h ago)

@franwex
I'm not talking about Starfield.

And I'm not advocating for these behemoth productions. I think shorter development time and smaller teams would lead to better and more varied games. I want that, even if that means that we have to scale things down quite a bit.

Take something like The Last of Us 2. The amount of custom content is ridiculous if you break it down. It's no wonder they have huge teams of animators and modellers. And just to make things worse, each animated detail requires coding as well.

Just to add to animation work. It can take up to a week to make detailed walking animations. A lot of these tend to vary between character types. And then you need to do every other type of animation as well which is a task that scales quickly depending on how detailed the game is. And that's just a small aspect of AAA development. Each level might require several level designers who only do blockouts. Enviroment artists that setdress and lighting artists that work solely on lighting. Level needs scripting and testing. Each of these tasks takes a long ass time if the game is striving for realism.

Personally I prefer working on games where one level designer can do all aspects. But that's almost exclusively in indie and minor productions. It gets bloated fast.