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Timesplitters 4 Devs Explain Why Publishers Didn't Want It

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Crytek UK, Free Radical, Haze, Timesplitters, TimeSplitters 4

Timesplitters 4 Devs Explain Why Publishers Didn't Want It

"We Had Released Haze"

We want Timesplitters 4. So do you. But back in 2009, no publisher would touch it.

TimeSplitters co-creator Steve Ellis and Crytek UK’s Karl Hilton reckons that it would have been difficult to market... and that you're only as good as your last game. Which, in this case, was Haze.

“TimeSplitters 4 was in the very early stages of development when Free Radical went into administration," Ellis told gamesTM Magazine [via Nintendo Everything]. "A small playable demo was shown to several publishers, but it didn’t attract any publishing deals.”

Hilton explained that publishers had two main concerns, the first of which was the critical and commercial reception of much-hyped but ultimately lacklustre PS3 shooter Haze.

“We pitched it to a lot of publishers,” he said. “And from each of them we got the same two responses. Firstly, they would ask what happened with Haze. We were the company that made a series of high-rated shooters and then we had released Haze, which wasn’t as well received. This worried them."

The difficulty in marketing a game set in numerous time periods and featuring many graphical/gameplay styles was also perceived as an issue. Apparently the original Timesplitters and its sequel made much less money than expected despite us critics going mad for it.

“Secondly, their marketing person would say something alone the lines of, ‘I don’t know how to sell this.’ The unanimous opinion among all publishers that we pitched TimeSplitters 4 to is that you can’t market a game that is based around a diverse set of characters and environments – you need a clear and easily communicated marketing message, and TimeSplitters doesn’t have one."

“Perhaps they are all right. Perhaps this is why the previous games in the series achieved much more critical success than commercial success. For these reasons, one by one they all declined to sign the project.”

Crytek CEO Cervat Yerli recently proposed that that they might consider creating a Timesplitters HD Collection if an online petition reaches 300,000 signatures.

Add a comment5 comments
Yukes  Nov. 27, 2012 at 12:44

I get sad every time I read about why Timesplitters 4 won't exist. Best FPS series of all time, criminally overlooked by so many.

The unanimous opinion among all publishers that we pitched TimeSplitters 4 to is that you can’t market a game that is based around a diverse set of characters and environments – you need a clear and easily communicated marketing message, and TimeSplitters doesn’t have one."


Hang on a minute - surely your marketing would be centred around the fact that you can control a diverse set of characters and environments. Isn't this one of Timesplitters' key USPs? Design a poster stating simply Timesplitters 4 with the 4 made up mug shots of all of the characters you will be able to play as, and give it a tagline of: 'None of this will be serious... you'll all just monkey around.'

Breadster  Nov. 27, 2012 at 14:36

Well this sucks. I don't know anyone who has played Timesplitters and didn't like it. They were such fun games. I guess I can kinda see where they're coming from with the marketing stuff. I suppose only a long trailer could communicate all the varied gameplay you get in Timesplitters, posters and things like that can't really get it across.

I guess I'll get the HD collection if they make it, maybe if that generates enough sales a sequel could be on the cards.

MattGardner  Nov. 27, 2012 at 17:28

"From developers who brought you GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, TimeSplitters 2, and Second Sight...

SEE THE WORLD
REWRITE HISTORY
DUAL-WIELD A MASSIVE RANGE OF GUNS
UNIQUE MP MODES
TRAVEL THROUGH TIME AND KICK SOME ASS

Who needs marines? The 'Splitters are back!...in CryEngine 3."

Fire the marketing department who said they couldn't market that game. You had me at GoldenEye.

MattGardner  Nov. 27, 2012 at 17:30

GOD FORBID WE HAVE AN FPS THAT REFUSES TO TAKE ITSELF 110% SERIOUSLY!!!

I'll stop abusing the caps lock now.

Quietus  Nov. 28, 2012 at 10:04

TimeSplitters is brilliant.

It still amazes me when I watch some of the ludicrous speedruns for it.

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