TimeSplitters co-creator joins THQ Nordic to “plot the future course for this franchise”

One of the creators of the original TimeSplitters IP, Steve Ellis, has joined THQ Nordic to help them work on a new game. The news was revealed via they rather dry Interim Report Q1, April-June 2019 document published by THQ this morning.

Last year Deep Silver acquired the much-loved TimeSplitters IP. We’re delighted to announce that one of the series’ creators, Steve Ellis, has joined us to help plot the future course for this franchise.

The original series kicked off way back on PlayStation 2 in the year 2000 and was followed by a numbered sequel and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, all of which scored highly in reviews and became firm fan favourites. Sadly, after the third outing things got rather messy.

A fourth game was rumoured to be in production at Free Radical in 2007 but in 2009 Crytek snapped up the studio and put the game on hold, renaming the studio to Crytek UK. By 2011 the game was back in production but had moved to run on CryEngine, the following year it cancelled with Cevat Yerli from Crytek stating “Look, I wish we were working on it. The thing with TimeSplitters is, if we made a sequel to TimeSplitters, nobody would accept this apart from some fans, and we don’t know how big the fan community is unfortunately.”

It’s quite amazing how fast things have changed since then, Crash and Spyro were born before some of this generations gamers but they have been buying the titles like the proverbial hotcakes.

By 2013 Steve Ellis, the chap who has just joined THQ Nordic, had given up. “I don’t think there’s any chance that’s [TimeSplitters 4] going to happen, you always got to the point where the marketing person in the room would say ‘I don’t know how to sell this’ because they want a character that they can put on the front of the box. Every marketing person and every publisher we spoke to [said] ‘You can’t have that as your selling point’ and maybe the sales figures of previous games backed that up.”

In 2014 Crytek were in financial trouble and sold Homefront 2, which Crytek UK were working on, to Deep Silver, and shut down the studio, but most the staff immediately joined the new Dambuster Studios to continue to work on the game. Deep Silver’s parent company, Koch Media, had recently been bought by THQ Nordic.

In August 2018 Crytek were in financial trouble (again) and sold the TimeSplitters franchise to THQ Nordic along with Second Sight, meaning the TimeSplitters IP was once again, via a very convulted path, the franchise was reunited with the team who made it.


So all is well in the world, at least until you read further down the Interim Report Q1, April-June 2019 document.

We have entrusted Dambuster Studios with the Dead Island franchise, bringing the development of this key franchise to one of our internal studios. They are now leading the development of Dead Island 2.

Dead Island 2, previously in development at Yager, and then also in development at Sumo Digital until at least 2018, is now at Dambusters and as they are leading development they probably won’t be churning out TimeSplitters 4 anytime soon.

Source: THQ Nordic

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