THQ Nordic has announced that they have picked up the Timesplitters property and released trilogy, as well as the rights to Free Radical’s Second Sight. This puts THQ Nordic in a position to not only re-release the old Timesplitters games, but to make new ones, as well.
“Timesplitters was largely considered as one of the most influential console games of the early 2000’s,” THQ Nordic wrote in a press release just issued. “The three game series earned a large and passionate fan base thanks to its unique humor, art style and pop culture references while encouraging customization and modification to give each person their own individual experience.”
Additionally, THQ Nordic noted that they have purchased the IP for Second Sight, as well as the rights for the 2004 stealth paraspychological horror game itself if they ever want to re-release it.
Timesplitters was created by British game development studio Free Racial, which was primarily made of ex-Rare employees who worked on Goldeneye 007 and Perfect Dark. The three Timesplitters games were published under different publishers and had a fanbase that created a lot of demand for a revival of the series. Free Radical suffered a number of setbacks, however, before any revival could be considered. The studio was working on Star Wars: Battlefront III, but the game was cancelled at the last minute by Lucasarts, according to former employees. Combined with the critical drumming that Ubisoft game Haze took, the studio declared bankruptcy and closed.
It was later purchased by Crytek and rebranded as Crytek UK. During THQ’s IP rights auction, Crytek picked up Homefront and intended to produce a sequel to the game, which they were working on for many years. Crytek faced immense financial troubles and allegedly stopped paying staff for a period, prompting Crytek to lay off staff from Crytek UK and eventually selling the Homefront license, Crytek UK, and the work done on Homefront 2 to Deep Silver’s parent company in 2014. Deep Silver then ended up publishing the game with Crytek UK, formerly Free Radical, now renamed Deep Silver Dambuster.
Fast forward to earlier this year, where Deep Silver’s parent company, Koch Media, was acquired by THQ Nordic. With THQ Nordic acquiring the Timesplitters IP, in theory, Free Radical can work on the series they popularized in the first place.