TimeSplitters 4: Publishers Rejected Complex Plot, Worried About Haze

Working demo was showcased to publishers.

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TimeSplitters 4: Publishers Rejected Complex Plot, Worried About Haze
TimeSplitters 4 isn't happening. It once was, but not anymore. And the wound simply won't heal, with developers on the Free Radical project coming out of the woodwork to discuss why it ultimately got canned. The two main reasons? An overly-complex plot, and Haze.

Karl Hilton - former Free Radical developer, now UK managing director of Crytek - told GamesTM that publishers were skeptical of the studio's competence following Haze, and weren't sure about the general direction of TimeSplitters 4 either.

"We pitched it to a lot of publishers, and from each of them we got the same two responses. Firstly, they would ask what happened with Haze," Hilton said. "We were the company that made a series of high-rated shooters and then we had released Haze, which wasn't as well received. This worried them.

"Secondly, their marketing person would say something alone the lines of, 'I don't know how to sell this.' 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." Truly sad to see such a resigned admission from a developer.

The shocking thing is, according to series co-creator Steve Ellis, publishers were shown an early, playable version of the game. And they still all turned it down. "TimeSplitters 4 was in the very early stages of development when Free Radical went into administration," he told GamesTM. "A small playable demo was shown to several publishers, but it didn't attract any publishing deals."

Let's all reminisce about how good TimeSplitters was (especially TimeSplitters 2, the best in the series - and we won't hear an argument about it), and how silly all these publishers were, in the comments section below.

Via Nintendo Everything


ohms 27 Nov 2012 11:38
One duff game has been the downfall of many companies. Seems like a business model inevitably doomed to fail for small developers.
S B 27 Nov 2012 12:52
massive shame, timesplitters was amazing. Even with all these new shooters on the market i would welcome TS's frenzied multiplayer. Its amazing it wont be picked up to be honest, they even had the first homage to the "zombie shooter" which we all know is huge now with CoD fans, something im sure many will forget. Seeing as how the online multiplayer element of games is so huge these days its a hard pill to swallow
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