Last year, THQ Nordic announced that the popular 00’s shooter TimeSplitters was one of the many, many IPs it had scooped up, and promised fans that the franchise would be making a return.
Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of THQ Nordic’s Koch Media, said in a statement at the time that “the original games gave fans a massive content offer and provided a pure and genuinely fun arcade shooter experience.”
“We have many fans of the TimeSplitters series among our own staff who are passionate about creating a product that will thrill today’s gaming audience.”
Around this time, THQ Nordic also confirmed to fans that it planned to return the TimeSplitters franchise to publisher Deep Silver (which THQ also bought in 2018). All in all, it was very exciting news for people that didn’t just want to see the franchise come back, but come back in a way that stayed true to the anarchic arcade spirit of the original games.
In an exciting development, one of TimeSplitters co-creators – Steve Ellis – has now joined THQ Nordic to help develop future games in the series. Ellis had previously worked at Rare on iconic N64 shooters GoldenEye and Perfect Dark before going on to found Free Radical, the studio that gave the world TimeSplitters in the first place.
According to announcement from THQ’s latest financial report (via Gematsu); “ 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.”
TimeSplitters arrived in 2000, and the last entry in the franchise, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, released waaay back in 2005. Despite only being around for half a decade, the franchise remains fondly remembered by gamers of a certain age thanks to the thank that it’s absolutely bonkers in the best possible way.
TimeSplitters 4 had been in development at some point, but any hopes of a new entry seeing the light of day were crushed after publishers Crytek – who bought Free Radical – went bust. The franchise remained in limbo until last year, when THQ Nordic finally decided to pick it up with plans of a revival.
Back in 2013, Ellis stated in an interview that he didn’t think there was “any chance” the franchise would come back. He was candid with TechRadar, explaining that “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.”
I would imagine Ellis is looking forward to returning to work on a franchise he thought long-dead, and I hope he can work with THQ Nordic and Deep Silver to prove that TimeSplitters still has a substantial audience waiting for it.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.