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Confirmed – Free Radical is in administration

Thursday, 18th December 2008 17:47 GMT By Patrick Garratt

haze3.jpg

Administrator Resolve Partners has confirmed that Free Radical has not specifically closed, but is instead in administration.

Cameron Gunn, a spokesperson for Resolve, told ThisIsNottingham: “The company was placed in to administration yesterday afternoon.

“We will be spending the next three or four days assessing the financial position of the company but it’s business as usual, although we have asked that almost all of the employees apart from a skeleton crew remain at home.

“All employees have been paid up until the end of December and we hope to make another announcement before Christmas or very soon thereafter, but we must stress at this stage that it’s business as usual.”

The developer has 185 staff.

As has been reported throughout the day, staff arrived at work this morning to find a note of the company’s door telling them to meet in a local hotel.

Co-founders Dave Doak and Steve Ellis are rumoured to be starting another firm.

Thanks Shacknews and Hunam.

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6 Comments

  1. Blerk

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding here, but I thought that when a company was put into administration it was far from “business as usual”. When the company I used to work for went into administration what actually happened was that everyone apart from a skeleton staff were laid off immediately, and the skeleton staff assisted the administrators in closing down the company and selling off the assets to pay the debts.

    Are there different kinds of administration? Because what the guy here is describing sounds eerily familiar.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. GordonR

    Blerk,

    Companies can go into administration and emerge from the other side still in business (I can name you several Scottish football teams who have survived this in recent years) but I doubt this will happen in FRD’s case.

    FRD will have few to no assets to pay off their debts – they almost certainly rent their office space, whatever share of the Haze IP they have is essentially worthless and there doesn’t seem to be any takers for the new Timesplitters game they’ve been developing – so, unless a quickie-sale buyer can be found for the whole company, it’ll be wound up PDQ and put into liquidation. :(

    Edit – there’s a post on Eurogamer confirming exactly what you said – FRD skeleton staff kept on to assist the administrator in winding up the company, then it’s curtains. But administration isn’t necessarily a terminal experience in general.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. mortiferus

    Stick a fork in Free Radical, it’s done. Unless they have a financial nest egg and a hot property to secure some backing, it’s finished. The Time Splitters IP might be worth something to an Atari or a THQ, but Haze, well, let it die a quick silent death. At least the staff got paid through the end of the month, but it sucks to lose your job this time of the year.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Hunam

    Codies or Eidos might be a potential buyer for TS. Seems more their thing really.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. G1GAHURTZ

    I doubt codies would… They are owned by an equity group who are appartently not the type of guys to ‘take a punt’ on something like that. Especially in the current economic climate.

    Anyway, they just failed disasterously with Fall of Liberty recently, so I can’t see them looking to do another FPS in a hurry. Especially as they’ll probably be more than busy with their newly acquired F1 licence as it is.

    As for Eidos, they just had to cut like 25% of their work force and have gone through a whole load of re-structuring, including dumping a whole load of projects in order to totally focus on their strongest brands, so I can’t see them being interested either.

    Anyway, from the looks of things, these guys were trying to pimp this title all over the place to no avail.

    As others have suggested, it looks like the early work they’ve done on it is either
    a. Less than impressive (crap). Or
    b. Has no USP or original angle whatsoever.

    Either way, no-one seems to believe in their ability to make a game that’s going to sell.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. onyxbox

    dark times ahead I fear. FRD won’t be the last to fall victim of the double whammy of ballooning development costs and banks tightening their wallets.

    :-/

    They might have been in survival mode during the Haze development and then the economic downturn just made it to difficult to tread water any longer.

    I hope they find job’s in the games industry because they always knew how to code some smooth and tight controlling games (even Haze had evidence of this).

    #6 6 years ago

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