Free Radical's co-founder blames Ubisoft and others for past financial problems
Eidos was a perfect match for Free Radical, while Ubisoft played a huge part in the company's financial struggles.
Haze wasn't meant to be a PS3 exlcusive according to original plans.
Lucas Arts is full of morons.
The remake of GoldenEye almost had the chance to be developed by Free Radical.
Steve Ellis who helped co-found Free Radical with former members from Rare reveals in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz how the studio's relationship with publishers after Eidos damaged the company a lot more than it helped.
The studio's first publisher, Eidos, was described as more hands-off with the development Timesplitters 1 and 2 while not tying funds with milestones. Instead Eidos paid the studio every month as a way to ensure the projects would have sufficient funds and would only get involved at the testing phase of the project. Ellis said this provided the studio with a lot of creative freedom to work on projects while also having the publisher get involved only when it really mattered the most.
In comparison to Ubisoft who became their next publisher, Ellis has nothing but bad feelings towards them. Ubisoft was very hands-on with the development of Haze to the point of hurting the game's development while being too strict with the milestones. Ubisoft would only pay the studio when strict milestones based on certain formulas were met, instead of paying as progress was reached. As a result, the project had a few times where there was barely enough funds left to finish a certain milestone.
Ellis also revealed how Haze was originally meant to be a PC and Xbox 360 game but a secret deal never discussed to Free Radical between Sony and Ubisoft forced their entire plans to be scrapped in order to rush work on a PS3 version only.
Their next publisher Lucas Arts wasn't as bad as Ubisoft but because of the constant firing and hiring of new people during the development of Star Wars Battlefront III, it ended up dooming that project. Ellis reveals the game was at the QA (Quality Assurance) stage before it was canned for non-development reasons on Lucas Arts side of the deal.
After Lucas Arts, it was Activision's turn and there was plans for the studio to develop the remake of GoldenEye but was dropped at the last moment in favor of Eurocom. Activision also ended up cutting all ties with Free Radical for any future projects.
Ellis does feel the company's future and fortunes will improve with Crytek due to Crytek being very receptive towards the studio and having a friendlier environment to work with than their previous publishers.
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Industrialism, we'll make sure we destroy your chance at talent. All your talent are belong to us.
And the TimeSplitters series totally feels more like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark than any other FPS, both in gameplay and atmosphere (aside from the whole time travel, aliens, ninjas, zombies and mutants thing).
Shame things worked out this way, all hope lies in Crytek UK like thats were the roots of the Rare team still remain, return of the king moment! they were the daddys during the 90s and free radicals timesplitters i loved to bits.
Ubisoft is just one of the worst companies all around. I don't know how people can hate on EA when you've got a company that enforces strict requirements on its workers, creates corrupt DRM for its games which hurt the consumer, and call all of their customers thieves.
People wouldn't pirate your games if you made them good and easily accessible. Like Valve. Be like Valve.
I didn't like Ubisoft before reading this. Now I despise them.
you say best shooter of last gen, I say best shooter of all time.
Yeah Eurocom did a good job with the remake of GoldenEye but mind boggling why Activision refused considering Free Radical's history with the original and their experience with the TS series.
GAH! THEY ALMOST DEVELOPED THE NEW GOLDENEYE? THAT WOULD'VE BEEN PERFECT!
I mean, the game we got isn't really all that bad; Eurocom's a perfectly fine developer, and the Wii version at least is probably the best shooter for that console... BUT COME ON!
Many of the guys at Free Radical were THE ORIGINAL TEAM! The guys who made the original Goldeneye, and Perfect Dark! And, let's face it, Timesplitters is BY FAR the best FPS franchise of last gen!
WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, ACTIVISION?
I hope it goes well as well, and I hope they (or someone else) makes Timesplitters 4
That's right folks, when you think quality, don't think Sony OR Haze because even a talent like Free Radical couldn't even make it happen.
Hope it goes well. This article genuinely made me feel bad for those guys.