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TimeSplitters Co-Creator Doesn’t Think “There’s Any Chance” We’ll see TimeSplitters 4

July 24, 2013 Written by Jason Dunning

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We may not have had a new TimeSplitters game since Future Perfect back in 2005, but attention for the series is still quite high, with the 100,000 Strong for TimeSplitters 4 Facebook campaign at over 47,000 likes.

Steve Ellis, Co-Founder of Free Radical and Co-Creator of the TimeSplitters series, caught up with TechRadar recently, saying that “I don’t think there’s any chance that’s going to happen” when asked if he thinks we’ll ever see TimeSplitters 4. It isn’t from lack of trying though, as Steve talked about how he’d gone to publishers, but his conversations would always get 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.”

After talking about how budgets for games these days are “so much higher” and you can’t make one “for less than eight figures,” he voiced some ideas about the direction TimeSplitters 4 would’ve taken:

One direction we wanted to take it in was to increase the differentiation between the different characters I think that was one of my key goals for it…to make it less than they are just different skins with slightly different attributes but to give them genuinely different abilities. I think that would be good.

So, while it looks like we won’t be getting a new TimeSplitters game, we’ll always have 1, 2, and Future Perfect, with Steve looking back at the series and saying, “The whole thing about TimeSplitters was that it was to be the antithesis of all these other games.” He added, “It was not about a character, it was about the variety and being able to mix and match characters and backgrounds, kind of like a sandbox.”

Ellis then mentioned how he thinks “it’s a shame” the TimeSplitters games never received as much critical attention as they’d have hoped, while also remembering an interesting story that features Don Mattrick (EA, then head of Xbox, now CEO of Zynga):

I always remember when we were finishing Timesplitters: Future Perfect, getting a visit from Don Mattrick to basically tell us that it didn’t matter whether we made the game any good or not.

We were saying we wanted a couple of extra weeks just to put in some final bits of polish. We realized that the multiplayer had not quite enough attention compared to the previous game and we wanted to finish it off properly.

And Don Mattrick flew in and explained that if we did that then it’s going to move fifty million dollars out of EA’s financial year and it’s going to hit their share price and actually that’s more important than whether our game is any good.

That was my first experience of finding out that your interests aren’t really aligned with publishers’ interests.

Finally, adding his thoughts on Call of Duty, Ellis said, “I don’t begrudge them their success. It’s just a shame that there isn’t room for something that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

Are Steven’s words going to kill your hope for a new TimeSplitters? Let us know in the comments below.

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