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TimeSplitters reboot was reportedly a Fortnite clone before shifting to a remake of TimeSplitters 2

“Nobody wanted that really, not even us, but we didn't have much of a choice for a long time”

The artwork for TimeSplitters 2, showing three characters as one points a gun
Image credit: Free Radical Design

The reboot of TimeSplitters started life as a “clone” of Fortnite’s battle royale mode before becoming a remake of TimeSplitters 2, according to a former developer at recently shuttered studio Free Radical Design.

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Speaking with fan wiki The Free Radical Archive - who claimed to verify the anonymous developer’s credentials via previously unseen characters models from the game - the developer claimed that the TimeSplitters reboot was developed initially as a free-to-play battle royale game. As well as a battle royale mode similar to Fortnite, the game was said to include modes familiar from the original TimeSplitters games such as deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the bag.

“Originally it was a Fortnite clone,” the developer is quoted as saying. “Nobody wanted that really, not even us, but we didn't have much of a choice for a long time.”

According to the dev, the reboot changed direction earlier this year, shifting away from its battle royale ambitions to become a straighter remake of TimeSplitters 2 - albeit with some new and modified levels, including maps pulled from the first game and sequel Future Perfect, and an alternate timeline story following Corporal Hart rather than original protagonist Cortez.

The cover art for TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
Image credit: Free Radical

The shift in vision contributed to the lack of any marketing for the game, which was announced back in 2021, as the devs apparently worked with placeholder assets and lacked artists until the last year or so.

“Everything that's coming out now has been done over roughly the last 12 months,” the developer said, referring to pictures of concept art shared for former Free Radical staff. “The first 2 or 3 areas we started the art for were pretty much scrapped or needed redoing.”

The reboot - which was never given an official name - was entirely separate to the cancelled TimeSplitters 4, the dev said, with reportedly no access to the work done by TS4 developers Dambuster Studios.

The game was said to still be “a ways out”, with the developer estimating that at least two years of work would’ve been required to account for the “massive 180” into the remake of TimeSplitters 2.

With Free Radical shuttered just last week as part of Embracer’s ongoing wave of redundancies and studio closures, the developer confirmed that the TimeSplitters reboot is “cancelled”, with the entire team laid off - and those who returned to Dambuster not working on the shooter.

“Whether Plaion [the Embracer division in charge of Free Radical] will try to have another studio in the future to give it a crack, I don't know,” they added, reflecting that it “was a shame the way it ended, I've always had a soft spot for TS since the first and I had really hoped we'd make something as memorable as before”.

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TimeSplitters 2

Nintendo GameCube, PS2, Xbox

TimeSplitters 4

PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii

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About the Author
Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis


After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as Editor-In-Chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.