Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors has chosen not to deny reports that Timesplitters studio Free Radical Design faces closure.
One viewer, Nordlight artist Marcel Markov, asked Wingefors: “What will happen to Free Radical Design and Timesplitters?”
Wingefors answered (as translated by Markov for VGC): “In general, I can say that there are many situations in workplaces around the world that will possibly lead to a restructuring.
“Then you have to conduct a union negotiation or take other legal measures to complete something. This discussion cannot occur. That’s my answer.”
VGC reported last week that Free Radical is at threat of being closed by owner Embracer Group, just two years after it was established.
According to sources close to Free Radical Design, employees at the Nottingham, UK-based studio have been notified that it could close.
As required by UK employment law, Plaion – the Embracer division which runs Free Radical – must consult employees for a minimum of 30 days before making any redundancies, including exploring ways of avoiding them.
Depending on when staff were informed, then, there remains a possibility that the studio could remain open should Embracer receive interest from third parties interested in acquiring it.
However, VGC analysis of LinkedIn and social media showed that within the 24 hours leading up to our report’s publication, at least 15 people employed at Free Radical had already published posts saying they were looking for work.
For the past six months Embracer has been carrying out a “restructuring program” which has already seen some game studios closed and some projects cancelled.
Job losses across the games industry have been widespread in 2023. Companies impacted by layoffs this year include Xbox Game Studios, Epic Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment, CD Projekt, Unity, Riot Games, Blizzard, Crystal Dynamics, BioWare, Striking Distance, Team17, Frontier Developments and Telltale Games.