Despite everyone’s misgivings and apathy towards Haze, I don’t think anyone was happy to see Free Radical go to the wall. The company was one of the first victims of the economic downturn and has been operating in administration on a skeleton staff whilst a buyer was sought.
Well, now one has, and it’s everyones favourite teutonic crybabies, Crytek.
1Up is carrying the story and offers this quote from Rob Yescombe of the beleagured northern dev…
Speaking from his local pub, Yescombe told us, “After seven long weeks of uncertainty, I can confirm that Free Radical is now out of the woods. We’ve been bought by a really, really good company.” He added, in what was possibly a first for the outspoken writer, “I’m so excited I’m lost for words.” Then he found some and continued: “It’s the smoothest deal we’ve ever done. It all went through quickly, efficiently, fantastically…”
Read the full story here.
What this means for FR is unknown at this point. Commentors on Blues News are guessing (probably correctly) that with FR’s considerable console heritage, they’ll be put to work on bringing Crytek’s properties over to more profitable modest formats than the futuristic hyper-machines Crytek tended to target (only to blame piracy when everyone tries the demo, conceeds it won’t run well and subsequently doesn’t purchase).
Crytek have broken their silence and released the following press release:
Crytek Acquires Free Radical DesignFeb 04, 2009
Nottingham based developer to become Crytek UK
Frankfurt a. M. (Germany) / Nottingham (United Kingdom), February 4th 2009 – Crytek GmbH (“Crytek”) announced today that it has acquired all assets and business of Free Radical Design Limited (“Free Radical”). Free Radical is based in Nottingham, United Kingdom and is known for the multi-award winning Timesplitters series. The studio will now be integrated into Crytek’s network.
Avni Yerli, Managing Director of Crytek, said, “We’re very excited about this step to expand Crytek into the UK with such an experienced and highly talented team. Free Radical Design is a great fit to Crytek and its culture, given that Free Radical has a proven track record on delivering high quality games. The combination of this team, the Crytek network and our CryENGINE technology will be a foundation for outstanding gaming experiences and a magnet for the best talent in the UK.”