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TimeSplitters 4: 'Nobody was interested in signing us,' says dev

Free Radical co-founder says publishers just want Call of Duty

Steve Ellis, co-founder and former managing director of Free Radical, has revealed his attempts to get Timesplitters 4 off the ground failed due to publishers' unwillingness to stray from the formula.

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Speaking to Edge Ellis, who also worked on Rare's GoldenEye 64, said publishers aren't interested in quirky and different shooters.

"I spent the whole of 2008 going round talking to publishers trying to sign up Timesplitters 4," he said. "There just isn't the interest there in doing anything that tries to step away from the rules of the genre - no one wants to do something that's quirky and different, because it's too much of a risk. And a large part of that is the cost of doing it.

"Nobody really buys any FPSes unless they're called Call Of Duty," he added. "I guess Battlefield did okay, but aside from that pretty much every FPS loses money. I mean, [look at] Crysis 2: great game, but there's no way it came anywhere close to recouping its dev costs."

Obviously, Ellis' statements ignore the numerous non-CoD shooters current in the works, titles such as BioShock: Infinite, Metro: Last Light and Dishonored.

Whether those games sell well is yet to be seen, but surely they show that some publishers are willing to court 'quirky and different'?

The studio formerly known as Free Radical was saved from closure by Crytek, which acquired it and renamed Crytek UK. Although many speculated it might be working on a Timesplitters a spokesperson officially confirmed that was not the case last week. Other rumours suggest Crytek UK is developing Homefront 2.

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