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    Crytek UK

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    Formerly Free Radical Design, Crytek UK was a console-focused satellite studio for the Germany-based Crytek. The studio was shut down on July 30, 2014.

    Short summary describing this company.

    Crytek UK last edited by Icemaz on 05/31/19 01:06PM View full history

    As Free Radical Design

    In February 1999, Dr. David Doak, Steve Ellis, Graeme Norgate and Karl Hilton left Rare, where they had worked on the successful Goldeneye and Perfect Dark games for the N64. Two months later, on April 1st, the quartet set up their own independent games company, Free Radical Design.

    In October 2000, in time for the Playstation 2 launch, the team shipped TimeSplitters in partnership with Eidos. Built on their own technology, the game recieved a generally positive reception, and was considered to have been one of the best launch titles for the PS2. This gave Free Radical its first widely recognised IP, and the TimeSplitters franchise has gone on to become the company's best known series.

    After shipping TimeSplitters 2 in September 2002, and with the team having doubled in size, Free Radical set to work on the new IP, Second Sight. Providing a single player and story focused experience, almost the polar opposite of the TimeSplitters franchise, the team successfully established another succesful IP. Now partnering with EA, The team went on to release TimeSplitters: Future Perfect in March 2005. Following that, the team partnered with Ubisoft and released their first HD game, the PlayStation 3-exclusive Haze. The game was a critical and commercial failure, despite heavy advertising on Ubisoft's part and partnership with Korn.

    The team have, according to their official site, recieved "a dozen awards and many nominations" as well as being listed as "one of the UK's fastest growing technology companies".

    In December 2008, the financially struggling Free Radical went into administration as a protection from having to declare bankruptcy. All but 40 of the formerly 200-person studio were let go as the company scrambled to either sell itself or find a publisher for its then current projects. While the reasons why Free Radical became insolvent have never been confirmed, their financial misfortunes have been attributed to three major factors: the mediocre sales of Second Sight, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, and Haze, their inability to find a publisher for TimeSplitters 4, and the troubled development of Star Wars Battlefront III, which had been in development at Free Radical before being taken away from the studio. During this time, Free Radical co-founders Dr. Doak and Steve Ellis departed the company to found Pumpkin Beach, hand-picking 20 of the almost 160 fired employees to join them. Pumpkin Beach would develop one game--Gangsta Zombies, a Facebook game in the vein of Mafia Wars--before going defunct.

    As Crytek UK

    On February 4, 2009, it was confirmed that Crytek had purchased Free Radical Design and its IP. The newly purchased studio was renamed "Crytek UK" and put to work on helping to port and optimize CryEngine 3 for consoles and developing the console versions and multiplayer of Crysis 2. The TimeSplitters IP and all TimeSplitters 4 code is owned by Crytek, though the studio has shown no interest in continuing the franchise.

    The studio was continuing the development of Homefront 2 after Crytek acquired the intelectual property from THQ.

    Financial troubles hit Crytek in 2014 which reportedly cause missed wage and bonuses payments at the UK studio. Several employees left the company as a result, and Crytek ultimately sold the IP to KOCH Media. Most of the remaining employees moved to the newly formed Dambuster Studios to continue work on the now renamed Homefront: The Revolution.


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