One of the biggest stories in gaming over the last few years was the closing of Free Radical, the studio behind the TimeSplitter series, Second Sight, Haze and the oft-rumored Battlefront 3. The studio had a tumultuous time transitioning from the PS2 generation to this one, and their final game, Haze, received a pretty harsh critical reception.
Free Radical went silent after that, working away on Battlefront 3 for LucasArts. That game suffered through a turbulent development and was eventually canned by LucasArts. Screenshots and videos of Battlefront 3 keep coming out, and by all accounts it looked awesome. So what happened?
Eurogamer recently had an in-depth interview with Steve Ellis and David Doak, Free Radical’s two co-founders where they detail the journey of the studio all the way from splitting from Rare after GoldenEye to the problems with Haze’s development. It also explores the issues they had working with LucasArts on Battlefront 3. It’s only one side of the story, but given what the Free Radical guys say, they were hard pressed to find even a basic working relationship with the folks at LucasArts.
It’s a really good article, and I suggested you give it a read. It’s a bit lengthy but it gives a lot of background into the fall of one of the studios that gave us some of the best games of our youth. TimeSplitters is a franchise that I used to love back in the day and I remember being really disappointed by Haze when it came out. I didn’t play it, due to lack of funds at the time, but I wanted it to be a success. I just remember being really drawn in by the premise and the design of the main character.
What do you guys think of the article? Are you impressed that Free Radical lasted as long as they did? What do you think of their time with LucasArts? Go!
Source – Eurogamer