Wondering why the last-gen Timesplitters franchise never made the jump to modern consoles? Well, it wasn’t for a lack of trying — TS developer Free Radical reportedly shopped around a demo of the game to a number of major publishing companies, all of whom passed on the project.
Series creators Steve Ellis and Karl Hilton recently talked to UK gaming mag Games TM about why the series struggled to find a publisher after 2005’s Timesplitters: Future Perfect. According to them, publishers thought that the project wouldn’t be able to turn a profit, citing the game’s time-travelling storyline and the difficulty invovled in marketing the game as potential roadblocks to attracting a mass audience. Hilton also conceded that the publishers may have been right, saying “The unanimous opinion among all publishers that we pitched TimeSplitters 4 to is that you can’t market a game that is based around a diverse set of characters and environments – you need a clear and easily communicated marketing message, and TimeSplitters doesn’t have one. Perhaps they are all right. Perhaps this is why the previous games in the series achieved much more critical success than commercial success. For these reasons, one by one they all declined to sign the project.”
Hilton also blamed Free Radical’s last game, the PS3 exclusive Haze, as one of the reasons why publishers were so hesitant to work with them — Haze received almost unanimously poor reviews when it was released, and subsequently bombed at retail.
Free Radical was originally set to close its doors after Haze tanked, but was thankfully purchased by German publisher Crytek (best known for the Crysis series,) and now exists as Crytek UK. Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli mentioned earlier this year that Crytek is interested in bringing the Timesplitters series back, but stated that public interest in the series isn’t high enough yet to justify the game’s development.
Source: Nintendo Everything