Free Radical Design has been shut down by Embracer – WGB, Home of AWESOME Reviews

By admin Dec 20, 2023

It appears that developer Free Radical Design has indeed been shut down by the Embracer Group following Embracer confirming that closure was a genuine possibility.

While neither Free Radical Design or Embracer have offered any official statement, Free Radical’s website now reads, “404 Company Not Found :-(“

I headed over to Free Radical’s LinkedIn page to see if I could find any form of confirmation, and indeed I did. Senior artist Mark Normington posted today to say: “And it’s over. My final day at Free Radical Design It sees myself and just over 80 people out of work at the worst time of year for it to happen. Best of luck to all my colleagues and I wish you all the very best in your future endeavours.”

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It appears that the call to shut the studio was made several days ago, though. On December 7, Mark also posted that it had been a pleasure working with everyone at Free Radical Design, and mentioned that anyone looking to bolster their studio should consider people from a lengthy list of Free Radical employees.

Likewise, the fantastically named George Beard, Lead Game Designer at Free Radical, posted a similar type of message 5 days ago.

Here’s what he had to say: “As our time at Free Radical Design comes to an end I want to say that it has been an honour to work with this design team. They are young, intelligent and hungry designers (and Tech Designers) that I would encourage anyone hiring to take an interest in them.”

Based on the various LinkedIn posts from former Free Radical employees, around 80 people have lost their jobs due to the closure.

Putting aside the horrible loss of work for those amazing people so close to Christmas, perhaps the craziest part of this story is that Free Radical Design never even got the chance to release a single game since it was reformed by Embracer just 2 years ago. Embracer resurrected Free Radical to also bring back the iconic Timesplitters series, but as we all know Embracer has been collapsing like a house of cards for a while now. They’ve been undergoing a massive restructuring program designed to reduce their substantial debt following years of gobbling up studios at an insane rate. The result has been multiple studios such as Volition being shuttered and over 1000 employees losing their jobs.

It remains to be seen if Embracer’s efforts will be enough to save itself. If it can’t the scale of job losses will be staggering, with Embracer themselves stating that they have over 15,500 staff spread across 130+ internal studios.

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